* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

What's 'appening with WhatsApp? '800 MEEELLION LOSERS* actively use us', says boss

DougS Silver badge

Re: Whatsapp is brilliant

You mean it is what Google should have built in to Android if they had half a brain. Instead they've given all that juicy data collection to Facebook.

US Navy robot war-jet refuels in air: But Mav and Iceman are going down fighting

DougS Silver badge

The Navy sees reality, the Air Force will have it forced on them

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus stated a few days ago that the F35 would be the last manned fighter jet the Navy would ever buy, that unmanned is the future.

I'm sure the Air Force would disagree if asked today, but economics will force them to that conclusion down the road. Congress won't pay for another manned fighter jet program after the F35 because the US Air Force would be the only customer in the world for it, making it cost too much.

While AMD, Apple et al thrash around, chippery fat-cat TSMC is grinning all the way to the bank

DougS Silver badge

Re: Racing to 10nm

TSMC go under? They are by several times the largest foundry/fab operation in the world, by comparison Samsung and Intel are as children. They can get along just fine if Apple never gives them a penny.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Racing to 10nm

You've been able to fit a PDP11 in less than 1 sq mm for a decade...

There may not be a lot of customers for 10nm, but they are high volume high revenue customers like Apple, ATI(AMD), Nvidia, and Qualcomm.

The rumors that showed Apple switching most of their production back to Samsung this fall for the A9 using Samsung's 14nm process showed them switching again and using a 10nm process for the A10 in fall 2016. That must be TSMC, unless the long-rumored deal with Intel finally comes to pass.

Android lands on Microsoft's money-machine island fortress

DougS Silver badge

Re: Sorry AC

That link is titled Linux kernel vulnerabilities and shows a bunch of Chrome vulnerabilities. So you're wrong there.

Also, most of the rest is driver related. An Infiniband exploit is not a kernel vulnerability, the only way that module can run is if that hardware is installed and the driver is loaded.

DougS Silver badge

Sorry AC

Stating it again doesn't make it so. Like I pointed out last you made this ignorant comment, actually read what you post. Look at the 2015 link, and notice how many of those vulnerabilities involve Chrome. Unless you are braindead enough to believe Chrome is part of the kernel, you will realize your lie has been exposed.

DougS Silver badge

AC is lying or stupid or both

The Linux kernel has had a tiny handful of vulnerabilities in its whole life. That a few brain damaged "security" sites claim all vulnerabilities for software that comes bundled in a Linux distro is a vulnerability in the "Linux kernel" shows how ignorant people who post on the Reg come to ignorant incorrect conclusions.

If Windows shipped with as much software as a typical Linux distribution did, it would have a lot more vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities in Office don't count against Windows, but vulnerabilities in LibreOffice are counted against Linux since all distros ship with it. And a few dumb security sites unworthy of the name claim those to be vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel.

Also, many sites separately count vulnerabilities in Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu, etc. so one Linux vulnerability counts against it a bunch of times. But somehow the same 'courtesy' isn't extended to Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, Server 2008, Server 2013 and so forth when a single vulnerability affects them all.

It is ironic that this guy makes the claim Windows has fewer vulnerabilities while I'm currently updating my Windows VM that was last updated Feb. 28th and I see around a dozen "Security Update" listed - and I'm not even sure this includes April since the image is corporate managed and may not have pushed out the April updates yet!

WHAT did GOOGLE do SO WRONG to get a slapping from the EU?

DougS Silver badge

EU claiming the power to fine

I suppose the EU can claim whatever power they want and prevent a company from doing business in the EU if they refuse to comply. I agree that Google is guilty of what they say, but if they try to enforce that 10% fine I hope Google says a big F.U. to the EU and stops doing business there in lieu of paying the fine. Let's see how EU businesses like it when search results stop showing them.

They can hope for an EU search engine to spring up to compete with them, but that won't happen overnight, nor will EU citizens immediately get used to going to www.findit.com or whatever instead of google.com. Probably what would happen is people wanting to search for stuff in the EU would be forced to Bing it, and Microsoft would end up with nearly 100% of the EU search market within five years...

DougS Silver badge

10% "not" ridiculous

So if a company has the ability to pay, the fine is not ridiculous? That's pretty much saying the more successful a company is (therefore the better their ability to pay) the more they should be fined. Is that really something you support? Seriously?

DougS Silver badge

US officials haven't accepted anything

The FTC takes a much more laissez-faire approach to monopolies, for better or worse. They didn't do much about Microsoft, and one can argue they were proven right as mobile devices broke their monopoly. However that's almost completely due to missteps on Microsoft's part; had they been smarter about their strategies Windows Phone and Android would have their market positions reversed and their monopoly would be stronger than ever. They'd be able to leverage that dominant mobile share to help Bing's fortunes as well.

Google's monopoly will only get stronger until there is a market disruption. You can either hope one occurs naturally, or an external force like the EU can apply it. I think the 10% revenue fine thing they claim to have the power for ridiculous, but even if that was off the table there are ways they could enforce this. Good thing someone is watching out for consumers, the US government only watches out for those with enough money to pay lobbyists and funnel money into election coffers.

Default admin password, weak Wi-Fi, open USB ports ... no wonder these electronic voting boxes are now BANNED

DougS Silver badge

Only a win for the public if they don't make the same mistake again

I have a feeling they'll approve some new electronic voting machine that will be similarly insecure, after the vendor has funneled millions into the state congress/governor's campaign coffers. No different than a company getting their speed cameras in, or getting their books in schools, it is all about bribing the right public officials.

While voting machines you control the outcome of sound like a better idea at first glance, you risk life in prison if you're caught. Legalized bribes in the form of campaign contributions not only don't risk jail, but you get invited to a lot of parties and the result is the same either way.

Microsoft cramming free stuff into Galaxy S6es? Not so fast – US telcos

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why in forkall would Samsung do this

Removing the SD slot doesn't change Samsung's position at all, unless they removed the code that understands vFAT, which is unlikely since it will still be used in other ways.

Anyway, Microsoft claims around 200 (!) patents that apply to Android, the vFAT thing is just the one that everyone always talks about but you don't really think Microsoft could shake down Android OEMs for $5 a phone or whatever they're getting based on that single patent, do you? They would have simply dropped vFAT support years ago after Microsoft came knocking and had the SD card use ext3 - tell people to download a driver onto their PC if they need to remove the card from their phone and read it there.

Apple splats Safari flaw affecting a BEELLION iThings

DougS Silver badge

Re: where's the fix for iPhone 4 iOS 7.1.2?

They may still produce a version for 7.x, after all they did a new rev of 6.x for the 3gs to plug a security issue last year. Obviously they will prioritize the newest version of iOS first since it affects many more people.

However, this really isn't a big issue for iOS. Making you download a file other than the one you thought you were downloading is not as much of a problem in a sandbox. They can't make you download an executable since those must be signed to run. Maybe they could use it to get you to download a developer profile and then trick you into visiting a dodgy app store, but that's a bit of a stretch. This type of thing would be much more of a problem on an unrestricted OS like OS X (or Windows or Android)

Need speed? Then PCIe it is – server power without the politics

DougS Silver badge

Re: Simple fix for southbridge bandwidth limitation

Why would an SoC be any more limited in RAM than a socketed CPU? If you use the same number of I/Os for DRAM, the max capacity will be identical. I'm not talking about a SoC that includes RAM on chip, that's not practical except for non-embedded use.

DougS Silver badge

Simple fix for southbridge bandwidth limitation

Get rid of it. No reason the southbridge shouldn't be integrated into the CPU and make it an SoC. There are no longer any high power parallel I/Os, so there's no reason it should be a separate chip. Intel already revs the southbridge at the same pace they rev the CPUs, time to make the x86 an SoC.

Is hyper-convergence a good thing? Ask a mini computer veteran

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Re: Looks like someone got the EMC marketing packet

And it was the NEXT article I read after I wrote a comment on another article about the reason I read the Reg was because they didn't regurgitate press releases without comment like half the IT sites. Yes, I used that very word! Hopefully this isn't a new trend, or I'll have to find another IT site :)

Got iOS 8.3 installed? Pssh, you are SO last week… version 8.4 is out

DougS Silver badge


I guess you haven't read the Reg's byline - "biting the hand that feeds IT"? It isn't like they only go after Apple, they go after them all. Maybe the "idiot tax" thing is more biting than how they describe Google, but that's just because they haven't thought of anything worse for them. Yet.

When they figure it out, and get tired of the "idiot tax" and move on to the next it'll be the Google fanboys getting all butt hurt over the name calling and thinking the Reg is favoring Apple.

The bylines and clever turns of phrase in the articles are why I read the Reg. They still deliver the IT news, but they don't regurgitate press releases without comment like half the sites, and don't pander to them and kiss ass to their advertisers like most of the rest.

DougS Silver badge

Re: You're gonna get so much hate

Were you not here for the first hundred times they used that same phrasing?

Android gets biometric voice unlocking

DougS Silver badge

No implanted RFID chip

However, here's the use case for a smartwatch, or at least something wearable that includes an RFID with enough range that it can automatically unlock your phone your presence but it instantly locks if it moves more than a couple meters away from you.

To prevent theft of the phone and wearable item together, the wearable should break the pairing relationship if removed. Ideally the watch can be programmed to 'recognize your wrist', perhaps via chemical secretions in your sweat and the pattern of your pulse at rest, then it can be re-paired with your watch once it is put back while making it and the phone valueless to thieves and coercion useless (no way to reach rest pulse under coercion)

Nokia may tell struggling HERE Maps division to get lost – report

DougS Silver badge

If it had been on the market a few years back

Apple would have been very interested if they had this option when they were dropping Google Maps. Not sure why Uber would be interested, since their drivers can use whatever maps they have/want.

US govt bans Intel from selling chips to China's supercomputer boffins

DougS Silver badge

It isn't "debt" in the sense many people seem to think

China doesn't hold an IOU from the US, they hold treasury bills and corporate bonds. You can't demand immediate payment on that any more than your bank can call you up and demand you pay off the full amount of your mortgage tomorrow.

The only leverage China has is to quit buying more bonds and other US assets in the future, and over the years as the bonds mature they will hold less and less. They aren't the only market interested in US debt, so while it might raise interest rates a bit, it isn't going to be the end of the world for the US as some people seem to think.

China would have to do something with the money they would otherwise hold in US dollars. Are they going to hold Euros? Doesn't sound too smart to me until they get their Greek house in order. Are they going to hold pounds? There aren't enough pounds in circulation for that. Are they going to hold gold? Same problem. I suppose they could waste their excess money building megacities where no one lives and other malinvestment...oh wait, they're already doing that or else they'd have even more money they needed to do something with!

ICANN urges US, Canada: Help us stop the 'predatory' monster we created ... dot-sucks!

DougS Silver badge

@John Brown Re: state.us

Yes, I believe all or at least most states have domains like state.il.us and some have city domains below those. I've never seen them used anywhere outside of government and primary/secondary school websites.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Still trying to work out

Johnny come latelys were upset that all the good domains, like johnnycomelately.com, were already taken.

It is kind of a problem that I can start a business called Bob's Burgers, for instance, and so long as there isn't one in town or the next few towns over, or a chain elsewhere in the state, I have no problem. Having only .com makes it so there can be only one bobsburgers.com, and everyone else has to do weird stuff like theoriginalbobsburgers.com, bobsburgerschicago.com and so forth. The real problem was that while countries like the UK used the .co.uk domain as intended, no one in the US used .co.us and everyone wanted .com in the rest of the world.

New TLDs aren't a fix for this though, if there was a .burgers domain there's still only one bobs.burgers. Domain names are unfortunately just not a good solution on the scale we use them today, which is why search engines become so popular. I don't blindly type bobsburgers.com and hope it is the right one. I google "bobs burgers chicago" or "bobs burgers glasgow" and even if it is called bobspizzaburgersandhummus.com I'll find it. ICANN and registrars refuse to admit that the domain name system has been irrelevant for the past decade.

Wi-Fi hotspots can put iPhones into ETERNAL super slow-mo

DougS Silver badge

Hardly "ETERNAL"

Even if it stops the normal reboot process, you can force a reset by holding down the home and sleep/wake buttons together for 10 or 20 seconds. Undoing the proxy might require putting it into airplane mode first (or get away from the rogue wifi network)

Of course anyone dumb enough to fall for changing their proxy settings when iOS amply warns you about it isn't going to know any of the above. They would have similar issues with any phone, especially one that is more configurable like Android, if they're willing to change any system settings just because someone says they should...this is why dumb people shouldn't be allowed to have nice things!

Cisco loses logo lawsuit against WiFi inventor boffinhaus

DougS Silver badge

Re: Sure looks like...

If CSIRO sold products to consumers that might be a problem, but they don't. If they start doing so and include this logo on their products, Cisco might have an actionable reason to come back to court and revisit this.

Microsoft Lumia 640, 640XL: They're NOT the same, mmmkay?

DougS Silver badge

Re: “We wanted to make the naming convention easier for consumers,”

How many different phones called Galaxy did Samsung release, from the Note to Sn versions that each had many variations, along with low end crap like the Ace? They did that successfully for years, so their recent difficulties certainly can't be blamed on it.

Who is the fastest-selling phone maker of ALL TIME? Samsung? Apple? No, it's Xiaomi

DougS Silver badge

Re: But are they real sales ?

Apple reports sales, not shipments. When an OEM ships phones to carriers and stores that don't sell, the unsold ones are eventually returned. That mucks up the numbers for unpopular phones no one wants. That's not true of either Apple or Xiaomi, unless you think EE bought millions of iPhones they couldn't sell and ended up returning them to Apple or putting them in a landfill.

When Apple reports their sales, profit etc. in their quarterly filings they are required by law to be truthful. If they lie there, the executives can be personally sued by investors for making false statements. Such liability could easily be in the billions since it wouldn't take much movement in Apple's stock price if lies were discovered to cost that much.

It is only in the wishful thinking of an Apple hater that Apple's figures aren't real. You hate Apple and the iPhone, don't understand why anyone should buy one, so you assume the numbers must be manufactured.

DougS Silver badge

Apple sold 10 million phones in a weekend

They just didn't bother with bringing in Guinness and PWC to prove it because they don't care about getting a 'certificate' for setting a world record.

LG monitor software quietly kills UAC, dev says

DougS Silver badge

The user probably does disable it

There's a UAC prompt about needing privileges to do something, and that 'something' is disabling UAC :)

DougS Silver badge

Microsoft should treat this as malware

And have Windows updates disable the LG monitor software so that it comes up with a warning about it being disabled due to security issues and advising users to contact LG for further information, along with re-enabling UAC. That's the only way companies that screw with basic OS security practices will learn their lesson.

Google, Microsoft and Apple explain their tax tricks in Australia

DougS Silver badge

How are Apple's profits / taxes incorrect?

If they have $6 billion in revenue let's assume they sell only iPhones for simplicity (no lower margin products like Macs, iPads, Apps, iTunes tracks etc.) That comes to 10 million phones at $600 each. $250 million profit comes to $25 profit per phone, paying a third of it in taxes.

Australia is unhappy based on Apple's GROSS MARGIN, but if Apple didn't sell anything directly into Australia, but it was all sold through whatever Australia's equivalent of Walmart and Best Buy are, Apple would be selling at wholesale pricing and the retailer would be permitted a small markup and they'd have to profit off that. And guess what, selling a small fast selling item like an iPhone for $600 when you buy them for $550 and have $25 of per unit sales cost is not at all out of line. Companies like Walmart have much thinner margins than that.

Tax treaties specify transfer pricing should be done based on arm length pricing - that is, the wholesale price Apple would charge a retailer that operated in that country. So Australia can whine all they want, but unless they want to tear up tax treaties, or they want to make people believe Apple's wholesale price is significantly lower than that, they don't have a leg to stand on.

Google-Twitter hookup rumours pushes up babble blog site's shares

DougS Silver badge

Google wants it for the datamining

If they actually acquire Twitter, and considering the typical acquisition premium, they'd be paying around $45 billion or over $150 per monthly active Twitter user. Can they make that much off them? Even if they don't sling ads via Twitter, being able to gain access to the users' "stream of consciousness" is worth a lot to marketers.

Google should just go ahead and acquire everything related to data collection on the Internet, that way I can bypass a lot of that crap to the extent I'm able to avoid letting Google in my life in any way.

Aluminum bendy battery is boffins' answer to exploding Li-ion menace

DougS Silver badge

Re: Bored of Battery "Breakthroughs"

Starting now, for every value of now.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Low energy density

That's why they talk about grid storage rather than a thinner iPhone. Being 1/5th as dense as LiON isn't a problem so long as they can be made 5x cheaper (including environmental impact during production and disposal)

UK.gov: We want Britannia's mobe-enabled cars to rule the roads

DougS Silver badge

Use of cellular

How much does coverage matter, so long as it covers all the important roads and enough of the less important ones? In the US at least, if you look at coverage maps in areas with very sparse coverage you'll see full coverage along all the major interstates and highways. That is probably the case world wide - right of way to lay cable and put up towers is easier in such areas.

The information relayed by cars is going to be about what is going on where your car is going. Accident ahead, black ice ahead, deer seen hanging around the edge of the road ahead, etc. There's no reason to have images from cameras of other cars relayed so bandwidth should not be a concern. The information relayed is post image recognition. This information is useful, but an autonomous car should be driven in a manner where it doesn't REQUIRE this information.

Just like humans are able to drive successfully most of the time without knowing what is ahead beyond that which they can see. Sure there are some accidents that could be prevented if they knew there was a five car pileup just around the fog shrouded bend, so you could avoid becoming the sixth. The system tries to tell your car about it, but maybe it doesn't succeed 100% of the time, and there's an accident. If you spec a bullet proof SEVEN NINES system, think of how many lives will be lost while humans continue to drive as you wait and wait for the 'perfect' solution that targets reducing deaths all the way to zero for Version 1.0?

Can't patch this: Mozilla pulls Firefox encryption feature after just a week

DougS Silver badge

Re: 100% False Positive rate

How about having the details uploaded to mozilla, so they can check the server name against the list of domains registered with one of the major registries to give the user an indication how serious it may be.

If I get a warning from yahoo.com, I may know that is something to be very concerned about (or someone at Yahoo is about to get fired) but the average person doesn't know the difference between that and a warning for myblog.myvanitydomain.com.

Choc Factory's king codec serves 25 BEELLION Tube hours

DougS Silver badge

Re: Google is wasting their time

I'd be surprised if Skype continues to support VP*, consider who owns it now. Probably Microsoft has their own proprietary compression scheme they'll be pushing along with HEVC.

DougS Silver badge

"Settled with patent holders"?

Surely you aren't so naive as to think there are no patents out there that VP9 infringes on? I'm sure the same is true for HEVC as well, but indemnification (assuming it isn't without clauses and gotchas) does no good if you get served with an ITC suit that demands an export halt. Google can't indemnify you against that.

It comes down to whether you trust that everyone who wants to belly up at the trough has come out of the woodwork. They probably have for HEVC, since once it was made a standard it was too late to change things to avoid patent infringement. VP9 has so little adoption outside of Google that it pays to for patent holders to wait for wider adoption - because if they strike too soon they might scare off anyone considering its use.

DougS Silver badge

Google is wasting their time

HEVC/h.265 will be built into everything. VP9 will be built into a handful of things. Besides Google, no one is going to use VP9 - unless Google wants to open the door for the competition they'll have to support HEVC for that large majority of devices that will never support VP9.

Yes, there is a licensing cost for HEVC but it is quite reasonable and there's no guarantee that someone doesn't have patents against VP9. Much more likely there are unknown patents against it, in fact, because of how many parties were involved in the development of HEVC versus pretty much only Google developing VP9. If I held a patent against VP9 I'd be sitting on it for a few years letting it gain whatever traction it can before shaking people down. Do it now, and you'll just scare away anyone who might be considering an alternative to HEVC.

Samsung persuades US watchdog to review Smartflash legal dance over patents

DougS Silver badge

Why these two?

Because a troll is using them to try to extort billions from other companies. There's no point in reviewing the "method for swinging sideways" or "method for exercising a cat" patents because the patent holder isn't trying to abuse them. They just filed those patents to show how low the bar is.

I'm surprised that Apple wasn't able to get these patents reviewed previously, but the fact Samsung has done so probably means they were next on Smartflash's hit list. If people ask "why didn't Apple settle instead of going to trial" it is because if the patents are invalidated Apple owes nothing. If Apple settles they'll still owe the money (unless Smartflash agreed to a clause that says they don't if the patents are invalidated - which no troll will EVER agree to)

Microsoft drops Do Not Track default from Internet Explorer

DougS Silver badge

Re: No

If you LEGISLATE it, sure. Do not track is not a legal requirement, it is "please do this because I'm asking nicely, but I know I can't hold you to it". If you make it universal, they'll just ignore it. If you make a law, that's great, but that's an option only available to those of you in the EU. In the US the odds of such a law are zero.

DougS Silver badge


If you make it the default, web sites will just ignore it saying "the user didn't intend to set it like that". If the default is off, then anyone who has DNT set most definitely DID intend to set that, and that argument that they "didn't mean to" falls flat.

What is the point of a setting like that if it defaults to not allowing tracking? No one is going to enable that.

Tests show HTC, Sammy phablets BEND just like iPhone 6 Plus

DougS Silver badge

It is all about the case

Samsung phones were sturdier when they were plastic, when they went with metal like Apple they bend like Apple (or worse, given that the screen shatters which it didn't in the iPhone)

Verizon: FINE OK, you can now rid your life of our stalker supercookies

DougS Silver badge

Because they make more money that way. Complain to your congressmen. I did a few years ago, for all the good it did. If I was donating six figures to their campaigns they might pay more attention to me, but I won't give any of those crooks in either party a penny.

Silicon Valley gets its first 1Gbps home bro– oh, there's a big catch

DougS Silver badge


So I guess you never watch cable or satellite if you can't stand such 'blocky' video? The ones with the highest quality are using about 6.5 Mb/sec on average for their 720p/1080i HD channels using MPEG4 compression, or 12 Mb/sec using MPEG2.

You can't get Blu Ray quality HD streams from anywhere on the net, and never will. You won't even get 50 Mb/sec 4Kp60 streams, sorry. Better stick to your Blu Ray and hope 4K Blu Ray doesn't die on the vine from lack of interest!

DougS Silver badge


Do you really think enough people will do this to affect the value proposition to AT&T? I'm suggesting something that only the technically inclined would consider, let alone implement. If half their customers did it, yeah it would be a tragedy of the commons and they'd be forced to do something about it. But that won't happen, even in Silicon Valley.

The average person doesn't care about being tracked in exchange for saving money, otherwise Android would be a giant flop.

DougS Silver badge


If you live in Silicon Valley, there are probably multiple VPN providers nearby. For a little extra money you could route 100% of your home traffic through it, so AT&T will gather nothing.

For bonus points, have a background process running that bypasses your VPN to do in-the-clear Google searches of pairs of random dictionary words and follows the links therein, to pollute both AT&T's and Google's data gathering machine.


DougS Silver badge

Build it out of dark matter

Since we don't know anything about its properties, I'm going to decide for the purposes of this post that it will cause all normal matter and photons to bend around it like water going around a ship. Just as scientifically valid as the people saying "deflector dish".

Short circuit at Large Hadron Collider slows return to matter-mauling

DougS Silver badge

What exactly do you plan to use for insulation in something that is cooled to near absolute zero?

Win some, lose some: Motorola 1, patent troll 1

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Prior art is not limited to patents

It doesn't matter whether something was patented or not, it qualifies as prior art either way. Might be harder to dig up in your defense if it only exists in some shareware that was long forgotten.

There are plenty of problems with the US patent system, but the test for prior art is not one of them.

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