* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Microsoft Outlook comes to Android, iOS: MS email now a bit less painful on mobile

DougS Silver badge

Re: OWA or ActiveSync?

Upvoted for mention of Mail+. This is a great app! It has a few limitations so it isn't going to do for someone who is doing tons of mobile email, but for people like me who just want to be able to keep up on emails when I'm away from my laptop and put in a quick reply, it is great.

BITE that APPLE if you want to escape the Android garden, Microsoft

DougS Silver badge

Why does dropping tablet sales mean Microsoft missed out?

If they're dropping for the reasons Apple says, because tablet replacement cycles are more PC like than smartphone like, dropping sales doesn't matter. All existing tablet sales are the potential market for Microsoft, it isn't like you have to download apps within a week of a tablet purchase.

Microsoft's better off to put more support towards iOS for the simple reason that people who buy a higher priced tablet are more likely to pay for Office. There are some higher priced tablets on the Android side too, but most of the volume is in the cheap segment. People buying $100 tablets probably aren't going to pay for Office. The Apple/IBM enterprise deal is another factor in Apple's favor on this, enterprises are much more likely to consider Office a must-have for a tablet, versus people buying for their personal use who are much less likely to.

FCC will vote to cut off 41 million broadband users this Thursday*

DougS Silver badge

Re: Seems they've forgotten what "broadband" actually means

Why would you use DSL if you have fiber to the curb? You'd run gigabit ethernet over that copper, of course. No latency issues there.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Seems they've forgotten what "broadband" actually means

You can get 10 gigabit ethernet to run on copper - and they're working on it for 100 gigabit...

There's nothing superior about having fiber going into your home, versus to the curb. It gets less good when it is down the street or a few blocks over, but don't get all high and mighty on the idea that it must go into your house. There is absolutely no reason at all why that is a superior solution, unless we start needing 100 Gbps into our homes.

Charles Townes, inventor of the laser and friend to both science and religion, dies

DougS Silver badge

Great example

of why tenure is a good thing for researchers. Though today he'd still have trouble pursuing research against the common wisdom because he couldn't get a grant unless he toed the line.

Spartan on Windows 7? Microsoft is 'watching demand'

DougS Silver badge

Re: Doesn't matter if Win 10 is free, people won't update

You certainly haven't given any indication that you know what you're talking about, since you've basically told me "you're wrong, but it is up to you to 'research' randomly to find out why I say so because I can't be bothered to tell you". Hardly surprising you got all the downvotes you did, you deserved more.

DougS Silver badge

Doesn't matter if Win 10 is free, people won't update

Unless the update comes through and happens automatically via Windows Update, in which case they better be damn sure it doesn't break anything more than the automatic update to SP1.

Even if Windows 10 is the greatest OS ever known, only a small minority of people will go to the trouble and risk of upgrading their OS. Besides, knowing Microsoft they'd require you upgrade from 7SP1->8->8.1->10 which would really cut down the number of people who care.

Let's be clear, everyone: DON'T BLOCK Wi-Fi, DUH – FCC official ruling

DougS Silver badge

Re: Bet they don't stick to this

The types of government sites that have these rules typically require employees to sign something agreeing to such restrictions, and visitors (and often employees) aren't allow to bring in personal cell phones/tablets/laptops anyway.

Regin super-malware has Five Eyes fingerprints all over it says Kaspersky

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Complexity is relative

They're comparing is complexity to other malwares, not to the Linux kernel or Microsoft Office.

Boffin finds formula for four-year-five-nines disk arrays

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Re: The concept of spares needs to go

Four downvotes and not one comment as to why they think I'm wrong? Did the fanboys take a wrong turn on the way to the article about Apple's record quarter?

DougS Silver badge

The concept of spares needs to go

All those spindles provide additional performance. Use them. Arrays are virtual these days anyway, so as drives fail and rebuilds occur you lose spindles (performance declines) and you lose available capacity (not a big deal until it gets too close what you're actually using)

It may not be cost effective to send out a guy to replace a single drive, but surely it is still cost effective to have them replace dozens of drives if you need a mid life performance/capacity kicker until the array has fully depreciated.

Yahoo's! Mayer!: We'll! spin! off! $40bn! Alibaba! stake! and! pay! ZERO! tax! on! it! Ha!

DougS Silver badge

This is the best way to handle it

Some shareholders would want to sell now because they think Alibaba is a bubble that will pop. Others will want Yahoo to hold onto it as it may continue to go up. This frees the shareholders to choose to do what they want with their share of the Alibaba holdings.

Yahoo management won't have to worry about stock incentive plans for themselves or employees that are almost entirely aligned with the fortunes of Alibaba, where their own contribution to success or failure of Yahoo's business has almost no impact.

Wall St wolves tear chunk off Microsoft: There goes $30bn!

DougS Silver badge

Invest more?

Microsoft already invests a hell of a lot in R&D. The problem isn't lack of spending, it is that they develop the wrong products, or poor products, or both. Since Windows/Office sales are showing they've peaked, investors are rightly worried that profit from the new stuff is not going to be able to make up for the declining profit from the old stuff.

Apple spent a fraction of Microsoft's R&D budget in the years they were developing the iPhone and iPad. Spending bucketloads of cash on R&D is no better than spending nothing on it if you the same outcome either way.

Given Microsoft has lost billions in all non Windows/Office endeavors when you combine them all over the past two decades, they would have been better off if they'd done nothing (of course investors would have punished them far more for not even trying)

INTERNET of STUFF: Google to replace old Dropcams for $0.00

DougS Silver badge

Reason for different Google vs MS treatment

Google has been much more successful at being evil than Microsoft during the past decade. Watching Microsoft try to be evil is like trying to watch a drunk who can barely stand try to fight someone. It is more humorous and sad than anything.

If Microsoft shows it can once again do new and innovative evil like Google then people will begin to be worried about them once again.

Euro mobile standards chiefs eye tiny beauty: It's the KEY to 5G

DougS Silver badge

Can't see such high frequencies being very useful

Line of sight is required, so they don't go around buildings and even the leaves of trees will kill the signal (try to aim your satellite dish through leaves and you'll see what I mean, and that's at lower frequencies)

Without a use case for gigabit links to mobile devices it seems like they're putting the cart ahead of the horse a bit. Not saying we'll NEVER need gigabit links to mobile devices, but maybe a less aggressive version of 5G or further evolution of LTE would be more productive at this point in time.

(Waiting for the inevitable downvotes from the "technology must march on whether it is needed or not" and "if you build it, the use cases will come" crowd)

What's that, Microsoft? Yep, a Lumia and Surface SALES BOOM

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Landfill Lumia

These are mostly selling in low cost markets, where they are competing with low cost Android devices. I'm sure Microsoft wants to spin this as "we're catching up with iPhone and GS5" but a minority of the Lumias sold are in that class.

Nexus 6 would have had a fingerprint reader, but Apple RUINED IT ALL

DougS Silver badge

What I'd like iOS to do

Maybe a touch with one finger invites you to touch with another finger to confirm? If you used the right followed by left pinky finger, the odds of accidental erasure would be tiny (and obviously this would be something disabled by default) Still, I wouldn't be optimistic about Apple providing this.

What I really want iOS to do is maintain the non-Touch ID settings for password. So I can have Touch ID on and it unlocks, but I also have to enter my password if it has been longer than the timeout that my phone was locked. If I set it to an hour, the time I'm arrested, driven to the police station, booked etc. will expire that timeout so even if the police can force me to provide my fingerprint, it won't be sufficient. But I wouldn't be inconvenienced for normal usage where it would have been less than hour most of the time so my finger would be fine.

Though I suppose if I have advanced warning of being arrested I can probably shut down my phone in time. Certainly if I'm being pulled over or they're knocking on my door. If you're arrested randomly on the street you probably don't want to risk taking your phone out of your pocket to lock it because today's trigger happy cops will shoot you and claim you were reaching for a gun.

DougS Silver badge

@Charlie Clark

An acquiring company can't cancel pre-existing licenses, they would remain in force for the term of the contract. Either Moto hadn't licensed at all, or did not license for a long enough term.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Court ruling

Which is why iOS needs some finer controls over password requirements in addition to Touch ID.

DougS Silver badge

If they felt AuthenTec was clearly superior

Shouldn't they have recognized the risk that someone would acquire them? If Apple hadn't, maybe Samsung might have, which would have screwed Moto just the same.

DougS Silver badge

Court ruling

This was a Virginia circuit court, in the backyard of the federal government and well known to be receptive to government power.

This issue will eventually make it to the Supreme Court one way or another, who will have the final say. I find to hard to believe they could say that police can't force you to provide a password to unlock your phone but can force you to provide a finger.

Charlotte, NC thinks it has won the Google Fiber lottery

DougS Silver badge

Of course they aren't doing San Francisco

That would be massively expensive, compared to a nice suburb with utility right of ways already defined. Plus nowadays they'd have a fight on their hands from people picketing the Google buses who'd really be up in arms if Google was digging up streets all over town.

Some Androids can be HOSED by WiFi Direct vuln

DougS Silver badge

Not sure why that was downvoted

I'm certainly no fan of Microsoft, but Google has effectively orphaned all Android 4.3 and earlier devices with their decision not to fix a very critical bug in the default browser. They can't put this down to the OEMs not doing it - they stated last week it would not be fixed and the solution is to use Chrome.

Yeah, like all billion or whatever Android <= 4.3 users will download Chrome to keep themselves safe. Should Microsoft tell people to use Firefox next time there's a critical IE bug?

NSA gunning for Google, wants cop-spotting dropped from Waze app

DougS Silver badge

Given the way the police want to become 'secret police' and can choke a man to death on camera for selling cigarettes individually and not only not get indicted but keep their job and have paid leave during the investigation, don't you think the citizens deserve to have a way to defend themselves from a government continuing to reach for ever more power?

Should Google play carriers at their own game? There's never been a better time

DougS Silver badge

Wifi calling / Wifi first

That would have been great five or ten years ago, but today it is pretty irrelevant, because calling is treated and priced as a commodity, as is texting. At least in the US, where you would expect Google would try this.

Since they make you buy calling/texting plans to get data, they segment it so it saves you save little if you choose a less than unlimited calling/texting plan - if that's even offered, some packages only offer unlimited.

I for one would never sign up with Google as my carrier, even if I could save $50/month, because they already have access to too much data of mine. Do you really want to let them know who you call/text, and when, and where you are at all times? They already collect too much data, especially on those who use Android phones. Don't need them as a carrier so there's even more they can cram into their data mining and advertising maw!

I can see it now, you call your friend in LA six times in two weeks after not talking to them for six months, and Google starts showing you ads for cheap flights to LA. No thanks!

Uber isn't limited by the taxi market: It's limited by the Electronic Thumb market

DougS Silver badge

Uber is easy to replicate

Write an app, offer a bigger share of the revenue to the drivers (or wait for Uber to inevitably start screwing over their drivers with various bad policies or taking a bigger cut) and take a share of their market. Or operate somewhere they currently don't, or somewhere they got kicked out of for thinking they're above local laws.

This is not like building a competing search engine, where you need specialized algorithms, huge server farms, and have advertisers uninterested in bothering with you until you reach critical mass so you better have money to operate and grow for a few years with little or no revenue. It isn't even like building a competing Android phone, where you need to have supplier relationships with dozens of suppliers to get all the parts you need, engineers to do at least basic physical design, a contract manufacturer to make it, programmers to at least paste your logo onto Android, etc.

If the market is anywhere near big enough to justify Uber being worth $40B, there will be a flood of entrants. They don't need to take on the world, I might start one in my town, you start one in yours, and we all provide the thousand cuts that bleed Uber's market valuation down to commodity levels.

One may argue that Uber has some network effects due to its size, but as competing services come, someone will write a meta app that checks all the services available where you are and lets you choose between the cheapest price or quickest arrival. Even the tiniest service can compete once that's in place, and Uber can do nothing to fight it.

Oi, Aussie sports fans! Take that selfie stick and stick it

DougS Silver badge

Wouldn't this problem take care of itself?

Maybe I have incorrect assumptions of what Aussies are like, having never been there and learned most of what I know from Paul Hogan, but wouldn't they just let you have it verbally (if you're female) or physically (if you're male) the minute you pulled a selfie stick out, before you even got a chance to use it?

Hate to think the descendants of convicts have returned to their roots and are now as polite and passive as the English.

'One day, YOU won't be able to SENSE the INTERNET,' vows Schmidt

DougS Silver badge

Re: "with your permission and all of that"

Because by "with your permission", he means you have given your permission if you haven't opted out. They'll helpfully let you opt out if you show up at Google in person. So long as you find the right office in a wing of the building marked "under construction - keep out" where the lights and stairs are out of service. You'll know you've found it when you see a sign on the door "beware of the leopard".

Doomsday Clock says 3 minutes to midnight. Again

DougS Silver badge

Re: Comparing wide scale nuclear war to climate change is ridiculous

The idea that climate change will extinguish life on Earth is without any scientific basis whatsoever. That takes propaganda to new untapped levels. Not even any point in trying to reason with someone so stupid as to believe that.

DougS Silver badge

Comparing wide scale nuclear war to climate change is ridiculous

One will kill millions due to the direct effects of the blast, and billions in the next few years from starvation due to the loss of infrastructure (the deaths from increased cancer rates 10 or 20 years on are a drop in a bucket that won't even matter, as would be the deaths from "nuclear winter" if such a thing actually occurred)

The other will, a century so or now, probably kill millions over the following the centuries, based on some hand waving arguments that a warmer Earth will change climactic patterns causing droughts, floods, and wars for resources.

Even if you fully accept the predictions of AGW, it is not possible to predict what parts of the world that are fertile now will become less fertile, or what parts of the world that are less fertile now will become moreso (but we never hear about any positive impacts, when it is clear there would be some) People have in the past, are currently, and always will fight wars, it is in our nature. Assigning deaths from wars to global warming is like assigning women dying from heart attacks to George Clooney being off the market. There probably are some, but how many is a guessing game.

The human race as we know it can easily survive on a much warmer Earth. There would be some adjustment, and some of that adjustment would cause people to die, but it would be a very minor inconvenience on the level of a piece of gum sticking to your shoe compared to wide scale nuclear war. These "concerned scientists" can stuff it!

Microsoft: We bought Skype. We make mobiles.. Oh, HANG ON!

DougS Silver badge

Even if retraining costs are zero

What is the incentive for an enterprise running Windows 7 to upgrade to Windows 10? Such upgrades require a ton of resources, so even if the cost is minor on the user side it certainly isn't on the IT side.

Pretty much no enterprises upgraded to Vista, because XP had years of support left. They upgraded to 7 because they were getting close to the XP drop dead date (and the difficulty of the project meant some missed that deadline anyway)

They'll move off 7 when it is soon to go off support. That may mean upgrading to a 10.x version, or may mean 11.x, depending on when the latter is released. They have zero incentive to make a jump off 7 in the next three years. It is all cost and no benefit.

Why so tax-shy, big tech firms? – Bank of England governor

DougS Silver badge

Shorter work week

In the long run, we're going to have shorten the work week so everyone still has work. I don't think human society would be able to work if 90% of the population is idle, at least not until we have robots and AIs that can basically take care of all our needs.

What is the point of human existence then, given that the highest pursuit most seem capable of these days is Trivia Crack and following the exploits of the Kardashians? How do you divide the resources in a world where no one works? Does Honey Boo Boo's mom get an equal share to Elon Musk?

DougS Silver badge

The (political) world will care

Because it will affect people at the higher end of the ladder, like lawyers, doctors, engineers, bankers, etc. The same people who end up becoming politicians, and get most of their campaign contributions and support from that group.

But there's not much they can do about it. They can delay it by using the ABA, AMA, etc. to make laws preventing use of expert systems or require human lawyers and doctors to oversee/validate their output. Basically the white collar equivalent of union shop rules that required a certain number of people to be involved in the process of painting a car, removing the savings from automation for US automakers because they still still had to pay people to stand around and watch the robots do their job!

As the shop rules in the US did, all it will do is disadvantage countries following that plan against others that won't. The result will be that a lot of people will see not-lawyers and not-doctors like paralegals and NPs for as much as they can, and only see real lawyers and real doctors when they can't avoid it.

Sony blames NORK The Interview cyber strike for delayed Q3 report

DougS Silver badge

12 months free identity protection service?

They should offer their employees a decade, if not a lifetime's worth. Do they think hackers will not try to exploit their personal information after 2015 is over? This is Sony's fault for having poor security, regardless of whether it was North Korea or an inside job, and they should do better for their employees who were the unwilling victims here.

FORCE Apple to support BlackBerry hardware, demands John Chen

DougS Silver badge

@Tom 13 Do you even understand net neutrality?

Why do you think this is a big deal? It is because companies are using public resources (right of way for running fiber, spectrum, etc.) What public resources is Apple is using with iMessage that should require them to support it on Blackberry?

Given that you don't even understand the very basics of the net neutrality argument, but apparently think that successful companies should be forced to get a leg up to the less successful ones, you should reference socialism in your arguments because that's what you're advocating for.

DougS Silver badge

Flash was not competition

It was shitty software, which has been mostly abandoned even on PCs now. If Apple cared that much about trying to prop up Quicktime, they wouldn't have supported h.264 video via HTML5 well before they told everyone they would never support flash.

Flash was a clearly inferior alternative to that, and that's why it failed in the marketplace. Or did you like having a Core 2 Quad brought to its knees by a single web page filled with flash ads?

DougS Silver badge

So back when Blackberry was dominant

Was the app that let you connect your phone to your PC to sync contacts, etc. supported on OS X? I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was not.

If Blackberry was able to demand this, why not even more niche phone OSes like FirefoxOS, Tizen and Sailfish?

Why Microsoft's 3D HoloLens goggles aren't for Google Glassholes

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hololens hype

Why would highway surface inspection work better with someone wearing a hololens versus looking at a laptop showing the same information?

DougS Silver badge

Hololens hype

Reminds me of Glass hype. It looks cool until you figure out it isn't really useful for anything. OK games, sure, but does anyone ever see a chance of an office full of people wearing these? Or wearing this at home while you're reading email, checking out Facebook or watching cat videos?

At least there's no chance someone will be enough of a twat to wear one while driving.

What was Tim Cook worth to Apple in 2014? $9 MILLION, apparently

DougS Silver badge

Re: The real potential money is in the share options

When he took the CEO job he was given a million shares vesting in two chunks over the next 10 years, or a little over $70 million a year at current share prices.

I don't think Apple is giving out options to execs anymore, as others have had similar (but smaller) share awards that vest over time to insure the person stays in their post.

Beam me up, Scotty, And VAPORIZE me in the process

DougS Silver badge

Why would I buy this?

It is a lot of expense to produce a part that would be far cheaper if I just had them ship it to me. Sure, if I need it in one hour instead of tomorrow or I'm somewhere hard to reach in the Antarctic or a space station it is better than shipping, but that's a pretty niche market.

Destroying something in the process of replicating it isn't a big deal though, if it makes it easier/quicker/cheaper/possible to replicate it at all. They can keep their DRM however, and we can keep a copy of the data so we can make as many copies as we want of the once destroyed object.

Google splashes $80k on Chrome 40 bug splatting

DougS Silver badge


I wonder if someone who notified them of a bug a couple months ago that didn't make this release will make it public like they've been doing to Microsoft?


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Look like there are some holes one of those Millennium Falcon eating worms could live in.

Hola HoloLens: Reg man gets face time with Microsoft's holographic headset

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If anyone knows timeless

A time traveling dead guy does.

Free Windows 10 could mean the END for Microsoft and the PC biz

DougS Silver badge

Re: Doesn't matter if the "update process is expertly controlled"

Why do you want to click on that Windows 10 "upgrade" button if all your stuff still worked? Suggesting it will somehow work faster is spurious - the OS has very little effect on how quickly applications run.

The job of an OS is to get out of the way, and its resource management efficiency only matters at the margins (i.e. when you have maxed out RAM are are swapping, have more I/Os going to your storage than it can handle and they need to be prioritized, etc.)

DougS Silver badge

Doesn't matter if the "update process is expertly controlled"

It will still require testing, it will still require work to deploy, there is still a chance of unforseen problems that didn't occur during the testing. What's the benefit in from this effort? What does have a more recent OS buy me? I can't think of a single thing! Can even Windows fanboys (if there are still any left) come up with a reason why a corporation should want to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10?

Given Windows 7's market share, all applications will be compatible with it and supported on it until it goes out of support. An OS is just a launcher for apps, and Windows 7 does that now with a minimum of fuss or bother. PC technology is barely advancing anymore, so the drive for supporting new stuff as was required back in the day with hardware for 3D, USB, and so forth no longer exists.

Corporate users won't upgrade until 2020 gets closer - they'll want to see Windows 11 and make a decision between it and Windows 10. Unless they both suck, in which case there would be considerable pressure on Microsoft to extend Windows 7's support like they did for XP.

LEAKED: Samsung's iPhone 6 killer... the Samsung Galaxy S6

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why should Apple be worried?

There's nothing even close to revolutionary. Incremental improvements in resolution, performance, etc. Did you find the S5 was too low resolution, or too slow? Did they recently install CAT-6 LTE where you live, and are you one of the few who still has an unlimited data plan?

The answer to all these things will be no for almost everyone, so I don't see why this is going to tempt anyone (Android fans included) any more than the S5. If it has a different design it may help, but changing the design it has had since at least the S3 days will also turn off some people too (especially if it has a glass back and non-removable battery, as one rumor indicated)

Google spent record cash lobbying Congress in 2014 – report

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Google's new motto

"Only 20% more evil than last year."

US military finds F-35 software is a buggy mess

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Only military logic

Could conclude that the way to fix a program that's behind schedule due to lots of bugs is to skip some testing to save time.

Imagine if the same logic was used when building skyscrapers and bridges.

Net neutrality bunfight heads to Congress, with predictable results

DougS Silver badge

Re: The only thing I can conclude

The industry is hoping to see a law enshrining net neutrality is passed, but takes away the FCC's power to regulate/punish the industry. Self-regulation is something the republican congress would be very friendly towards, but it doesn't work in the real world.

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