* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Hackers break the bank to the tune of $300 MEEELLION

DougS Silver badge

Re: Sudden wealth

You have to transfer money into that company you "registered somewhere" from wherever it is now (and if a lot of it is cash collected from many thousands of ATMs, that is even more difficult)

If you think it is that simple, you would probably end up being nabbed by the authorities before you even got a chance to move to this other country if you are starting from the US, UK or EU. The only question is whether they'll assume you are laundering drug money, conducting arms deals or funding international terrorism.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Sudden wealth

A lot of banks don't seem to be too concerned with where your money came from. In the US and EU they are because of the government, but do they really care that much in Russia and China?

Lightbulb moment for visible light networking: 200 Gbps without a fibre

DougS Silver badge

Re: What's the use case for 100 Gbps wireless?

You guys talking about copying terabyte disk images and "cross rack traffic" involving the home mark you pretty clearly as atypical use cases! I specifically said I wasn't saying NO ONE could benefit from 100 Gbps networking, but the typical PC user (high 90s percentage) doesn't and thus if it appears in the marketplace the price would be much higher than previous generations of wireless due to the very small addressable market.

You might want it, but would you pay $1500 for a wireless router to get it? I suspect at those prices most of you would choose to make due with slower networking.

DougS Silver badge

What's the use case for 100 Gbps wireless?

Even a half dozen HEVC compressed 8K streams couldn't add up to a single gigabit. Until we have holographic video or the like we've pretty much reached the limits of the speed required in the home or typical office environment at a gigabit. We need far richer media to go beyond that.

For content creators (i.e. those editing the 8K videos, for example) they might want more speed so they can load/save files to the cloud faster. Though even that's questionable, since you probably won't have a 100 Gbps link to the internet anytime soon so you'll have to wait anyway. Without the vast horde of content consumers coming along for the ride to drive down the price, higher speeds on this level would remain a Cadillac option.

I know I'll get a few downvotes from the "640K is enough for anybody, right" folks who think we will always find a way to use faster networking, but just like computers became "fast enough" to the point few think their PC needs more speed, so it will be with networking.

Hacker catches Apple's Lightning in a jailbroken bottle

DougS Silver badge

Why would someone who wants to hack their device buy an iPhone?

It is well known that Apple tries to make this difficult, whether you believe that it is about offering more security for it or more revenue for Apple is irrelevant, this is what they do.

You can buy Android devices that make rooting it and replacing the ROM simple, and when you get down to it the underlying hardware in most modern smartphones is pretty much the same. Buying an iPhone with the intent to hack it is like buying a Chevy with the intention to stick a Ford engine in it. Sure, it can be done, but you're knowingly making things difficult on yourself without a good reason to do so.

Apple drives itself round bend: Pities the fool who inks deal with carmakers – source

DougS Silver badge

Re: 80% of parts on electric cars have commonality with traditional cars

If cheap fans in computers can have rpm sensors, surely one can imagine it is not difficult for a motor (and the wheel, to detect slippage) to be able to tell how fast it is turning and feed that information back to a CPU that dynamically adjusts the power to each wheel. Torque steer should not be an issue.

You're correct about not wanting the motors in the wheel, but they can be next to it and the differential can be dispensed with. The fewer parts that are critical to the operation of the car, the better.

DougS Silver badge

Re: 80% of parts on electric cars have commonality with traditional cars

Why in the world would you need a driveshaft and differential on an electric car? Four motors, one at each wheel, would work better than a single large motor that provides power to a traditional drivetrain. I can't speak to the cost, but drivetrain components are heavy and reduced weight means greater efficiency - Apple is not going to worry about the cost being higher due to four motors if makes for a better car!

It would also increase reliability, as losing one motor is a problem when it is your only motor, but losing one out of four isn't even a problem worthy of scheduling the next available appointment, rather than waiting until it is convenient to schedule the service.

DougS Silver badge

They are hiring engineers from the automotive world, and could make deals with (or purchase) components makers. The quote was that they don't want a lot of help from CARMAKERS, i.e. Ford, GM, etc. not that they can go it alone and don't need engineers or parts.

Keep in mind an electric car shares a minority of parts with standard vehicles. They have no engine, drivetrain or transmission. No fuel injection, no exhaust, no catalytic converter, no brakes (replaced by regenerative brakes) They will still need tires, wipers, suspension, etc. and of course the interior, but would have to design a lot of the parts themselves.

Obama administration ENDORSES Apple Pay during Tim Cook's White House LOVE-IN

DougS Silver badge

Re: Less Than No Interest

Who is telling you to buy an iPhone "to be able to go out and buy something"? Apple Pay uses the EMV standard, so anywhere it works an EMV compliant credit/debit card (which will be all of them before long) will also work, and vice versa.

Apple Pay is neither a problem nor a solution, just another option. No one is trying to force it on you!

It's not easy being Green. But WHY insist we knit our own ties?

DougS Silver badge

It only makes you poorer if you displace a more productive use of your time

If the time required to make my own toothpaste meant I had less overtime at the pin factory, or less time doing something I considered more enjoyable like Facebitch, then it makes me poorer. But if it displaced time spent zoning out to reruns and infomercial on late night TV, at the very least I'm richer by $3 or whatever a tube of toothpaste would cost me.

I tend to compare more with doing things for myself that offer a bit more savings. For instance, while I'm far from as handy as others I can do simple plumbing or car repairs myself. If it takes me four hours to fix something a plumber or auto mechanic might take an hour to do, I'm saving let's say $75.

Obviously giving up four hours of work for that would be a terrible idea, as I'd make much more than $75, but if I were on minimum wage it would make sense to take time off work to do my own repairs (though not as much sense as doing it in my spare time!) What's the value of four hours of my spare time? That's hard to put a figure on, but I derive some personal satisfaction from accomplishing these things on my own (some, I'll admit, due to the fact I'm saving $75)

Doing my own repairs certainly isn't efficient for the economy as a whole, as I'm much more valuable doing what I'm best at, rather than doing something others are best at and I have to struggle a bit to accomplish and may fail attempting. As I'm unwilling to sell the market all of my waking hours, the value of my time to the overall economy beyond the 40 hours a week I choose to sell to it is far less. If I post to the Reg, the value of my time to the economy is zero, but it has value to me or I wouldn't do it.

One can't underestimate the value of personal satisfaction you get from doing something for yourself. I would get no satisfaction out of making my own toothpaste, but others get no satisfaction from fixing a leaky faucet and are happy to pay a plumber to do it for them. Sometimes things people simply enjoy doing turn into careers, like those who had a hobby making beer and now run craft breweries.

Help! DYING Google Helpouts YELPS out the door

DougS Silver badge

Google products are like Fox sci fi series

Don't get invested in them when they're new, because they're probably going to go away before long!

Elon Musk's Tesla set to unveil home storage battery

DougS Silver badge

Re: I've already got the system beat.

No, he has no generator, he's feeding in power on one side of the duplex, and feeding it out on the other. If the feed-in tariff is higher than the nighttime ToD pricing, he makes money on every kilowatt.

Definitely fraud, which would be a good reason for him to post AC. But I'll bet it is just a "I wish I did this" rather than "I actually did this". If he actually did it, I hope he gets caught and goes to jail. Idiots like that will give utilities the excuse they're looking for to drop feed-in tariffs entirely.

DougS Silver badge

@AC - Re: I've already got the system beat.

Great deal until the utility decides to audit their systems for the ones feeding them the most power, determines you aren't feeding them renewable power, and refers your case to the local DA for felony fraud prosecution. Likely federal charges as well assuming the utility is getting some federal dollars as part of this deal.

DougS Silver badge

Re: And all because

Or maybe because there's a market for this, and building volumes for their battery "gigafactory" will make both Teslas and renewable power more affordable?

What a bastard that Musk is, possibly benefiting from renewable energy subsidies just because he'd be giving a big boost to making renewable energy more successful!

DougS Silver badge

Surely you aren't serious?

You have heard of solar and wind power, right, and how one of the biggest issues with it is you still need to be tied to the grid or have substantial battery storage because the sun doesn't shine / wind doesn't blow 24x7?

Even if you don't intend to disconnect from the grid entirely, or don't even intend to generate your own power this can be very useful if your utility does time-of-day pricing like California. Top up the battery at night when power is cheap, use it during the day when it is expensive. With the price differentials in California, I'm sure it would pay for itself in a few years.

This would also be great for Tesla owners, if the design of the home storage battery allows for a faster transfer of power from it to your car, as compared to plugging it in. Depends on how it is wired, series vs parallel, etc.

There are so many reasons why a home storage battery system, if it is plug and play and more affordable than current solutions, would interest millions in the US alone. The current state of home battery systems for renewable power can be compared to buying a PC in the mid 70s - kits like the Altair, Apple I, etc. versus buying one in the mid 80s when you could just buy a Mac, IBM PC, Amiga with everything you needed and not have to understand how it works to make use of it.

Ex-NASA boffin dreams of PREDATOR-ish tech in humble microwaves

DougS Silver badge

Re: How about FLIR capability in a smartphone?

To do it right they'd need to determine where the driver's eyes are and superimpose the images via a HUD. After removing all the cars, of course, so what is left are humans/animals that might be ready to dash in front of your in the dark.

By the time that sort of setup is affordable, self driving cars will be here, so most of us will never drive a car that can do that.

DougS Silver badge

Re: How about FLIR capability in a smartphone?

That's nice, but a $300 accessory for an iPhone isn't quite there. I wonder how low the per unit pricing could be if it was built into all 200+ million iPhones sold per year? Of course, what it is good for that warrants its inclusion in every iPhone is another matter, so it isn't too likely even if it could be done for $5/ea...

DougS Silver badge

How about FLIR capability in a smartphone?

That would be much more useful, and I could use it with my 20 year old microwave to determine when my food is done!

Google cuts Microsoft and pals some slack in zero-day vuln crusade – an extra 14 days tops

DougS Silver badge

Re: More Eyes on Code

You don't speak any sort of English, unless "illiterate English" is considered a language now.

Apple 'hires' the 'A-Team' from car titans, they DO SAY: Let's modify the 'van'!

DougS Silver badge

Re: iCar

Its all a secret plot by GM, Ford and Chrysler to make people think the old school American automakers aren't that bad after all.

So who just bought the rights to .blog for $20m? A chap living in Panama

DougS Silver badge

Re: Is the TLD important?

It matters for search, from the way Google does its page ranking. Of course, with all the various TLDs out there that will inevitably take advantage of that, it may become a negative before long and all those $30 million TLDs will become pointless.

An NSA spy, a Fed and a sysadmin walk into a bar – that's Prez Obama's new cyber-security order

DougS Silver badge

Leading the world into the 21st century

Back when the rest of the world was in 2001, the US turned back the clock to 1984. So we're hitting the 21st century again two years from now!

Vint Cerf: Everything we do will be ERASED! You can't even find last 2 times I said this

DougS Silver badge

"Unusable" in a corporate sense means not worth the cost

Obviously that stuff CAN be recovered, it just isn't worth the cost. If they contained proof of invention that would mean they win $100 million in a patent case, they'd spare no expense to recover them - even taking "unreadable" diskettes to a data recovery specialist to read off the bits using a STM or whatever.

DougS Silver badge

Worry about old media that can't be read is missing the point

Old CP/M disks may be difficult to read, but now that everything is networked it is easy to transfer the bits to newer storage systems (replicated as necessary) over and over again.

We don't have to worry about preserving the data, but we do have to worry about preserving the means of interpreting the idea. i.e. if we store JPEGs we need the method of displaying them saved, similar with h.264, HTML5 and so on. That's probably not a difficult problem for common formats like that, for rare formats like saved mail archives from Domino that might be more difficult.

The overarching problem is preserving some way to determine what is what. We need metadata about each object or collection of objects to tell what it is, where its from, what its purpose was, who originated it, what its significance is, etc. A giant dumping ground of cat videos from 2006-2030 isn't very useful. A way to search it to fit memes like grumpy cat, I can haz cheeseburger cat and whatever at least preserves its cultural context/significance.

Maybe AI will eventually be able to help there, and be able to 'watch' all the videos, view all the web pages, look at all the pictures, read all the documents and emails, and categorize them in a useful manner. Google's current search ability is nowhere near what we'd need for a future historian to look through this stuff and make some sense out of it.

NO BRAIN needed to use Samsung's next flagship mobe

DougS Silver badge

Re: If you buy it do you own it? ...or... Will the device start overlaying Ads over the photos?

If you bought another Android device, you still have the biggest ad pusher in the world on your phone!

SWINGBELLIES! Take heed AGAIN: Booze shortens your life

DougS Silver badge

While I agree with you

I think I'd assume a lot of the benefit is in terms of it taking longer to get frail in the first place. Still, I figure the formula for the best life is maximizing Y * E where Y = years of life and E = average enjoyment of each year.

If I had to make my years 20% less enjoyable to get 10% more years it is not worth it!

Cricket's nervous nineties are a THING, say econo-boffins

DougS Silver badge

Probably common in all sports

It is well known amongst golfers as "fear of going low". Whether that is someone who has never broken 100 shooting a 43 on the front and blowing up on the back, or a top amateur gunning for the course record, it seems to affect most of us when we are shooting a score well below our norm.

It even happens in team sports. It is not uncommon to see a football or basketball team get out to a large early lead and start playing overly conservative, or "playing not to lose". If the other team takes advantage of it and makes a run often the team that had the lead isn't able to get back into the right frame of mind and they end up losing.

Got an Android Wear gizmo? Yeah, you and '719,999 other people'

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple who?

Smartwatches and Hololens are in two completely different markets so you really can't compare the two. Yes, you "wear" them both, but one you'd wear all or most of the time, the other would see limited use which makes them very different in usage. Unless there will end up being a lot of people wearing Hololens all the time when they're out in public ... what will we call them ... Holoholes? Assholos?

They do have one thing in common. Both are markets that are almost nonexistent right now, but a lot of fanboys think they'll become major hits despite never having owned one and ascribing a lot of their own wishes and hopes on the capabilities they'll eventually offer.

I think Glass is one and done. Google blew the intro because their engineers don't understand they are geeks, not normal people, and designing a product that only a geek would love and foisting it on the world had a fairly predictable reaction. The name is tarnished now, if they want to continue with the line it'll need a new name. Personally I think they'll bury it like they have buried so many other products that never left the 'beta' stage.

Chip giant TSMC, flush with record sales, plans $16bn fab build-out

DougS Silver badge

Assuming it is true Samsung will be fabbing the A9

This wouldn't affect TSMC's (or Samsung's) revenue now, since they wouldn't go into full production until mid summer at the earliest, assuming the usual late September launch for the next iPhone.

But even Apple's considerable volumes are a drop in the bucket for TSMC. They dwarf the production capabilities of Samsung or even Intel.

Skin colour's irrelevant. Just hire competent folk on their merits, FFS

DougS Silver badge

May have nothing to do with your image

It may have to do with access to places where you obtain competence (i.e. universities or those companies Twitter likes to poach from)

And further down, interest level to go to those universities and study Comp Sci, or get a job out of school from the companies Twitter likes to poach from.

I imagine it is similar to the gender "bias" in STEM. Girls have nearly as high interest in boys in science and math in early grade school, but by middle school the numbers are very different. What causes that? Are the teachers discouraging them? Maybe. Are their friends or even parents discouraging them? Quite possibly. Is there something in the genetic/chemical makeup of female brains that causes this to occur due to puberty? That is a question that isn't allowed to be asked, because it would lead to acceptance of gender imbalance in STEM.

For race a lot of it is likely tried to socioeconomic conditions. If you're poor your parents can't buy you your own computer. If your everyone around you basically says the way to make it is to be a great athlete, you will spend some of your younger years pursuing that until it eventually becomes clear you will never play for the NBA or NFL. By that time it is more difficult to catch up with those who didn't chase those dreams...

Car? Check. Driver? Nope. OK, let's go, says British govt

DougS Silver badge

Re: What could possibly go wrong?

Due to the lawyers, before they're allowed on the roads driverless cars will have to be more competent than a good and attentive human driver. They'll easily exceed the average half attentive driver and massively exceed the bad driver who is texting with one hand, holding his coffee with the other and steering with his knees....those are the guys you want to beware of coming up behind you!

Back seat drivers fear lead-footed autonomous cars, say boffins

DougS Silver badge

Re: Congestion will still be better than it is with human drivers

I was talking about having the autocars automatically block the lanes to smooth out congestion in front of them. Clearly you didn't read past the words "block" and saw red, or are not smart enough to understand what I was talking about.

The passengers in the autocar wouldn't have any ability to tell it to block out lanes, and really shouldn't have to ability to tell it how fast to go. If you have a self driving car, you should have no more say over how it is driven than a baby in the child seat in the back.

DougS Silver badge

Re: cough

Who says your productivity has to be work related? Do your taxes, do some online shopping for your wife's birthday, watch that program you recorded last night...

DougS Silver badge

Congestion will still be better than it is with human drivers

The biggest cause of congestion isn't slow drivers, it is unexpected braking. That causes a wave of braking that can extend back for miles and result in that unique effect where you'll be driving along at 75 mph and then suddenly traffic slows to a crawl for a few miles where you may even have to stop completely, then once clear it is back to full speed. That is usually because of some accident or near accident that occurred earlier, sometimes hours ago since at a certain density that traffic can never clear. In LA a near miss accident at 7am might cause congestion that doesn't clear until after sunset.

Autocars could help a lot there, if you had a few groups of them line up across the road in all lanes at intervals and slowly drop speed as the congestion approached, they could allow time for the traffic ahead to start moving normally and fix the congestion problem well before it would have cleared with only human drivers on the road. If that happened today those driving behind would be mightily pissed off, but people would quickly learn what is going on when the autocars do this and follow meekly behind until they broke formation and let normal traffic flow resume.

I'm sure they could take similar action to block out lanes that are closed ahead due to accidents or whatever so you don't get that pinch when multiple lanes try to merge in a hurry. And avoid the inevitable dickwad who speeds down the closed lane to try to squeeze back in to an open lane at the last second (always love it when semis straddle the lanes to foil those idiots, autocars could drive abreast to effect the same thing)

Obviously sometimes congestion is simply too many cars... Autocars take up the same amount of space on the road as humans, so they can't help there, but ride sharing with "autotaxis" would be much easier as they could automatically figure out who should ride together to minimize wasted time so they might result in fewer cars on the road.

In short, I think these boffins are worried about something that won't matter.

Gleeful Apple and Microsoft bathe in bathfuls of debt

DougS Silver badge

This is a side effect of Bush's corporate tax holiday a decade ago

By allowing companies to bring overseas cash back into the US at a lower tax rate (ostensibly to create jobs due to companies investing that money in the US) most of them now keep all their overseas cash overseas hoping that someday the tax holiday will return.

The only reason Apple is borrowing money is to allow them to buy back shares and increase dividends to investors, as the article says. If they used overseas cash they'd have to pay taxes on it, and it would cost them tens of billions they could otherwise save if there was another tax holiday in the future. So it is well worth the cost of the 1% interest on borrowed cash to keep that money overseas and let it pile up until a more business friendly administration takes over and institutes another tax holiday.

Hopefully this time they won't claim it is about creating jobs. It certainly didn't create any last time, though you could argue it might have created a few jobs for finance guys to work the details on these big bond issues. Probably not the type of jobs they were thinking of...

If you look up moral hazard in the dictionary, this is what they're talking about. Have one tax holiday, and companies will never bring back their cash at the full rate ever again!

Jeb Bush, the man who may lead the US in 2016, dumps Floridians' private data on the web

DougS Silver badge

Encouraging future candidates to withhold emails

They'll cite privacy concerns for their constituents, and point to Jeb Bush as an example.

Samsung: Our TVs? Spying on you? Ha Ha! Just a joke of course

DougS Silver badge

Re: same sh*t, different company

There is a difference - Samsung is sending it to someone else's servers not their own servers. Once they say "we may send your voice to a third party" it could go anywhere and for any purpose. If they are only sending it to Nuance, it should say something like "we may send your voice to Nuance or its corporate successor for the purpose of xxx, and they may not use it for any other purpose".

Samsung just assumed that no one reads these agreements, so they made it as broad as possible since they figured no one cared. However, about 1 in 100,000 people actually do read them, and when they find something they don't like, they make sure others hear about it. That's why I don't worry too much about blindly clicking through Apple's bazillion page agreement. If there's a clause in there giving up my firstborn, someone will have already seen it and raised a huge stink.

Net neutrality in the US: Look out! It's Neut-gate! Or is that Net-ghazi?

DougS Silver badge

It is recognized that the FCC is NOT non-partisan

Otherwise there wouldn't be a requirement on its makeup of five commissions be three from the current party in the White House, and two from the opposing party.

If they really wanted it to be non-partisan, it would be run like the Supreme Court, with the president nominating people to an open post, with Senate confirmation required.

There are always a lot of investigations when one party runs congress and the other runs the white house - congress is able to waste the executive branch's time dealing with all the investigations so they can get less done. See Monica Lewinsky investigation during Clinton's last years, or Iran/Contra investigation during Reagan's last years, plus of course many other smaller ones. This will be the first of many during Obama's last two years, of that you can be sure.

Symantec to cough up $17m after bloody dust-up with patent troll

DougS Silver badge

Re: It pays to infringe

The patent system is such a mess it is very difficult even for experienced IP lawyers to know whether a given patent is applicable or not - let alone your typical message board commenter. Since juries decide cases that go to trial, even if all the experts agree on whether a patent is or is not valid in a certain situation, the jury may not agree and that's what counts!

It isn't so much that it pays to ignore patents, but that it is difficult to tell whether the claims will hold up in court or not. If you just license patents whenever companies come knocking claiming to have a legitimate patent and asking you to pay up, you'll spend a lot more money. A lot of patent holders, both trolls and legitimate companies licensing their own IP will seek to get others to license their patents, offering better terms to the initial licensees, then use the "these other companies licensed our patents, so obviously they are legitimate" argument on the rest while asking for more money.

This uncertainty and abuses in the system are why standards processes always require patent licenses under FRAND terms, but that isn't bulletproof as some companies have tried to change the game by charging their percentage 'cut' on the price of an entire device instead of the item (typically a chip in the CE world) that implements the patent. There are also so-called 'submarine' patents where a patent holder that was not involved in a standards process has a patent that was not made public at the time the standard was formed (often deliberately avoiding making it public by repeatedly amending it in minor ways to delay official publication) hoping to cash in by holding up companies implementing that standard after the fact since they won't be bound by FRAND licensing terms.

Microsoft explains Windows as a SERVICE – but one version remains a distant dream

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple’s iOS platform is the furthest ahead

That doesn't mean the iPhone 4 is still running iOS 5 but reports it is running a newer version. It means those things aren't supported when a newer version of iOS is running on the iPhone 4. Some of that is due to internal hardware deficiencies, some of it is due to Apple choosing to segment the 4 and 4S in some manner since they quite similar and at the time AT&T owners could still get free yearly upgrades Apple was hoping to sell them. They didn't do that for the 5 and 5S, because Touch ID at least provided some real difference between the two, but more importantly AT&T no longer offered the yearly upgrades so now they can let people settle on the two year cadence where they offer major changes to the iPhone.

Even if you get zero new features from an OS upgrade, you still will want to do it because it closes security holes and adds new APIs that apps can take advantage of. Despite your list of limitations iPhone owners get far more out of upgrades than Android owners do, because most Android phones never can upgrade at all!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple’s iOS platform is the furthest ahead

Utter bullshit. You're just some lonely fandroid making shit up, and obviously know nothing about software development lifecycles to boot. Do you realize how much work it would be to take iOS 5 and add in "skins", add in all the security patches, add in all the new APIs (that don't have anything to do with new hardware features older phones can't support) and update all the built in apps? Versus the comparatively simple task of making sure iOS 7 which already has all that stuff works on both new and old devices, which of course they do despite your FUD to the contrary. Do you think Linux alone has the magic formula for allowing software to run on 20 year old hardware?

Obviously the levels of functionality are different on different devices. It isn't as though Apple could update the OS on an iPhone 5 and provide it with Touch ID. That sort of thing is true everywhere, no OS can add support for hardware that doesn't exist. But the lack of that hardware doesn't mean the OS can't still support it, it just detects whether it is there or not and disables that functionality if it is not. No different than Windows 7's 'Aero' GUI disabling the fancy effects if it fails to detect a graphics card that's up to snuff.

Bitcoin trade biz MyCoin goes dark, investors fear $387 MEEELLION lost

DougS Silver badge

Re: Old fashioned Ponzi - nothing specifically about bitcoin

No, as was pointed out in a post above this one, there almost certainly were real bitcoins involved. It is much easier to transfer bitcoins to your personal account without a trace than it would to do so with dollars.

Boy, 16, cuffed after posting selfie with body of kid he allegedly killed

DougS Silver badge

Insanity plea

Should be a good case for it, because what sane criminal would brag to friends about committing murder and send them evidence? It may or may not stick, but if he can't plead insanity it'll surely be plea bargained down to life in prison.

Dissidents and dealers rejoice! Droid app hides your stash in plain sight

DougS Silver badge

Wouldn't it make more sense to have this be the default?

When you unlock it using one password it unhides everything so you can use the phone normally, when you unlock it using another ("1234") it leaves everything hidden and shows only benign stuff to make the phone look used, but not suspicious.

You could designate certain contacts to be hidden by adding something to the contact info. Then all texts/calls to/from those numbers are hidden, and only the calls to your grandma are shown.

Watch it: It's watching you as you watch it (Your Samsung TV is)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Facts please commentards

And if they change the destination address, are going to check every week to see if you're now being snooped? The benefit of voice commands for TVs are pretty thin in the first place, this just makes it go from "solution looking for a problem" to "creepy".

What's wrong with a good old fashioned remote control? If you have the habit of losing it, it seems like the solution is to have a way to get it to identify its location. Maybe clap three times and the remote beeps from under your couch cushion...

DougS Silver badge

Ever hear of Shazam?

Even on 'HDMI2' the TV can easily tell what program you're watching (whether live or recorded) whether you skip commercials or not etc. the same way Shazam can identify what song it hears.

Didn't expect to see someone so hopelessly naive at El Reg...

Ex-squeeze me? Baking soda? Boffins claim it safely sucks CO2 out of the air

DougS Silver badge

Carbonates are how the Earth deals with excess CO2

It is a very slow process for the Earth so it can't keep up with our use of fossil fuels, of course.

If this really worked on a large scale so we could greatly reduce the amount of CO2 we're putting in the atmosphere by removing it at the source. Not that this would resolve the issue, even if we captured all the CO2 we emitted from fossil fuel use (net; by capturing some from the atmosphere or oceans to balance that which is emitted and not captured) I'm sure there would still be a certain segment of people calling for an end to fossil fuel use. They'd just come up with another reason why.

FCC chair refuses to make net neutrality rules public before approval

DougS Silver badge

Re: Ala carte channels are a wet dream

You guys don't really think they'll willingly give up all that revenue and all the free or cheap sources of programming will remain as free or cheap when everything (especially sports) has moved there, do you? Dream on.

The reason why programmers are encouraged about moving to online streaming is because they can make it so you CAN'T skip the commercials. There are 15-20 minutes of commercials on TV and a couple minutes or sometimes even zero minutes of commercials online. You don't think that's how it will always be, do you?

DougS Silver badge

Ala carte channels are a wet dream

The cable companies have ZERO control over this. They can't sell you the Disney channel without ESPN, or TBS without CNN because the owners of those networks sell them in bundles. If you want to mandate that Disney offer Disney channel and ESPN separately, you might as well mandate that GM sell their cars and engines separately. Both would be quite an intrusion into how a company chooses to offer their products.

If they ever do sell channels ala carte, you aren't going to get what you hope for, which is probably "I'm paying $100 for 300 channels now, but there are 15 channels I actually want so it should only cost me $5" If they sell them ala carte they'll probably sell them for several dollars each, so your 15 channel package might be $50 and you don't end up saving nearly so much as you think you should. Look at Dish's Sling TV offering - 12 channels for $20. If those are the right 12 channels, that's great, if you want FS1 instead of ESPN2, too bad.

Four senators call for federal probes into Verizon 'supercookies'

DougS Silver badge

"corporations being able to peek into the habits of Americans without their knowledge or consent"

Don't those fools at Verizon realize only government is supposed to be able to peek into the habits of Americans without their knowledge or consent?

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019