* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

No cellphones in cells, you slag! UK.gov moots prison mobe zap law

DougS Silver badge

Re: How do you identify the phone?

They don't need to identify the phone. Just find an unauthorized SIM and/or IMEI is operating within the prison and have the cell company shut it down. The prisoner would still have the phone, but it would now be useless.

Cops think Mt Gox meltdown was an 'INSIDE JOB' – report

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Re: but

One would assume that some of the stolen loot has been converted to real money and spent on something. Otherwise, what's the point? It would be like winning the lottery and putting the $50 million into your checking account and never spending a dime of it. I recognize some people wouldn't want to change anything in their life and wouldn't have use of that money, but those people presumably aren't playing the lottery in the first place.

DougS Silver badge

"police now plan to question Mt Gox employees"

I'd question the ones who now live in a huge mansion first.

Nvidia flops out teraflop X1 for self-aware cars

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@AC the dangerous driver

Apparently you didn't even understand the pilot's post, you just took offense to his characterization of you as a dangerous driver since you, like about 95% of the population, believe yourself to be a good driver.

When you talk about "things an attentive driver should notice" it sounds very much like you are assuming that others see what you believe you would see in their situation. You don't practice defensive driving, but instead get upset when you sit in someone's blind spot for a bit and they attempt to change lanes directly into your car and you have to take evasive action. Since you were watching that guy and successfully took evasive action you think that makes you a "good driver".

A good driver avoids (to the extent possible) putting himself in situations where the actions of bad drivers will affect him or cause him to take evasive action in the first place. It seems some people like to put themselves into a position where they need to take evasive action, or get cut off, etc. due to the actions of poor drivers so they can honk or flip off other drivers and feel superior about themselves and their driving abilities. Sort of a passive aggressive version of road rage, I suppose.

Healthcare: Look anywhere you like for answers, just not the US

DougS Silver badge

Re: Let me explain ...

Don't misunderstand, I'm not saying that Big Pharma in the US isn't wildly inefficient, but it does come through with some stuff that the world probably wouldn't have without it.

At least for market niches where there is a 'need' felt by people with lots of money. i.e., don't look to them to cure diseases that only affect the third world - there's no money in that for them!

DougS Silver badge

Let me explain the why the US healthcare system is this way

Since Tim and many of you non-US people seem to think it is astonishing that we've arrived at a system that falls short in so many ways.

Politicians aren't stupid, they know it could be fixed and cost less, but they know where their bread is buttered. Where do you think that massive 18% of GDP goes? What happens to the US economy if we were able to rip it out and replace it with Singapore's system that requires only 1/4 as much GDP? Millions would lose their jobs, pensions and retirement accounts would be devastated, the economy would be thrown into a massive recession! OK, maybe not, since it would undoubtedly take many years to make the transition so the pain would be spread out over a long enough time the economy could probably absorb it, but it would still be a massive economic dislocation to the millions and millions of people who are involved in some way in that 18% of GDP.

As well, I don't think we could really get down to 4.5% like Singapore, because while the US does waste a lot of money, much of the world's basic research into new drugs and new medical procedures takes place here. Well, the ones that will end up expensive so there's a good return on all the money that is spent bringing them to market. Singapore doesn't have to bear that cost, but if the US wasn't doing it because we got down to 4.5% like they did, some of the new drugs and surgical advances originating in the US would not be available for anyone.

DougS Silver badge

@Charles 9

No, sports injuries have nothing to do with why top athletes get paid so well. It is gate revenue and TV money. In the days before TV, it was gate revenue. Look at what top class athletes get paid in sports that people have little interest in watching on TV or attending in person.

Are women's professional basketball players any less likely to be injured than men's? Probably not, but they sure don't get paid millions to play like the men do. That's entirely due to the fact that no one wants to watch them on TV, and few want to attend the games. In other countries substitute football for basketball and the same is undoubtedly true (assuming there even is the rough equivalent of Premiere league for women)

Norks SCOLD Prez Obama over Sony mega hack payback sanctions

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why aren't our sanctions against NK already maxed out?

Spanking a country would imply military action. You don't spank a country with nukes any more than you would spank a kid who has his own handgun collection :)

DougS Silver badge

Why aren't our sanctions against NK already maxed out?

Ignoring this foolishness about them hacking Sony, they aren't exactly our friends so if we want to hurt them why were we holding back these sanctions until now? I get the feeling these sanctions aren't intended to really harm them, but more of a PR exercise, so that when they do something we don't like (or we think they have or claim they have) we can say we're taking action.

It is like dealing with a kid and taking away some his toys as punishment. Once you've taken away all his toys and sent him to his room, there really isn't anything more you can do if he continues to misbehave. So presumably there are still some sanctions we could impose we haven't so that we'll have something more to do...

Secretive Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi gets TALKY over HUGE sales

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Re: Microsoft will be pleased

Do we know whether Microsoft has come to an agreement with them yet? I don't remember reading that, and they probably weren't on Microsoft's radar until a couple years ago when they started to really get big in China.

I did read that Microsoft's new CEO met with Xiaomi's CEO a few months back. The guess was that they might be talking about having Xiaomi build some Windows phones.

Three expat Brits explain their move to Australia

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"doors that stop an inch above the floor"

You'd think they'd want to tighten their houses up a bit, living in a country that's home to most of the world's most deadly spiders...

Google unveils Windows 8.1 zero-day vuln – complete with exploit code

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"Aggressive disclosure policy"

90 days is reasonable, assuming they would be willing to delay disclosure if Microsoft said "we're working on it, but the fix is complicated and we need more time to test it, etc."

If they wanted to harm competitor's businesses, they'd sell the 0 days on the black market so Microsoft would get a black eye if it becomes the next CodeRed.

Apple's 16GB iPhones are a big fat lie, claims iOS 8 storage hog lawsuit

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Re: Untouchable

I would hope that if Microsoft was sued for Surface or Google was sued for Nexus it would be thrown out just the same. It has nothing to do with Apple being "untouchable", it has to do with this being a mind numbingly stupid lawsuit.

1,000mph ROCKET CAR project dogged by beancounters

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Shit managers, shit workers, et al

Don't forget the shit unions. Can't speak for the UK, but in the US the unions acquired more and more power over the years to where they went from a position where the unions helped the workers in a big way because they worked terrible hours in unsafe conditions to where the unions were one of the major reasons why things went downhill.

One of the ways unions protected workers in the early days was to require a certain number of people for a particular job, to insure it could be done safely. That was all well and good, but as better methods to do a job were found, the union contracts still specified the old number of workers, and the unions didn't want to give that up even when contracts were renegotiated. They wanted to protect people's jobs to the point that some US automakers had as many of a quarter of their workers being paid to do nothing, because they couldn't be laid off.

When automation started to happen, Japan took the lead because they didn't have all the laws protecting workers from being replaced by machines. So they could move to more modern methods, while US companies couldn't because the unions would force them to keep the same number of people involved in that assembly step and even if they didn't would force them to keep the workers on the payroll.

Had that not happened, a lot of that automation would have been developed in the US (and I assume the UK) which would have created jobs that more than made up for those lost by the unionized auto workers. I know, I know, that's small comfort to those workers who would be laid off and couldn't get jobs designing, building or maintaining the assembly line robots. All that did was delay the pain and cause much larger job losses down the line. Detroit is now a shadow of its former self because of this short sighted protectionism, and the auto workers who kept their jobs because of this now have smaller pensions because of the huge hit the automakers took by delaying the necessary changes for far too long.

I know some people read this and think to themselves "attack on the unions, he must be a republican/tory, burn him at the stake!" but while the unions did a lot of necessary good in the past, the pendulum swung too far in their favor against company management and the fall from grace of unions over the past few decades was the inevitable result.

Huawei? Apple and Samsung's worst nightmare, pal

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Re: Well, here's the thing...

Huawei weren't the first to market with a sapphire screened phone, there have been others, some even years ago. But as you say, those were a very specialized/limited run product.

What Apple was/is trying to do that no one else has yet done is bring that technology to the mass market, which requires a massive increase in sapphire manufacturing. Neither they nor anyone else will be able to sell millions of them until that happens, and AFAIK Apple is the only one who has even tried to make the necessary investments to increase sapphire capacity.

OnePlus vs Micromax: Dream of Google-less Android now further away

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Google is now outsourcing their evil

Much like Microsoft back in the day had shadowy industry organizations to do their evil bidding, Google has a shadowy VC firm do theirs.

Well, not "evil", exactly, just "business", since if non-Googley Android was to succeed it would destroy Google's whole reason for buying and developing Android. But regardless of what you call it, it is anti-consumer as it gives the Android community less and less variety the more Google tightens their grip around Android.

UK banks prepare for Apple Pay 'invasion', look to slap on bonking protection

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Re: Where do Apple fit in?

You misunderstand. The retailer is paying the same commission they pay normally when you pay with Apple Pay. The 0.15% Apple gets is out of the bank commission of 1-3% (exact amount depends on various factors)

If retailers were only paying 0.15% they'd be going for Apple Pay in droves, and the banks would not only have not worked with Apple on it, they'd be doing whatever they could to torpedo it as it would take billions a year off their profits.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Where do Apple fit in?

I'm not sure Apple is accepting any liability, do you have a source?

Apple worked very closely with the banks to develop the secure element, with the understanding it would be the banks' IP, and I've heard the banks will eventually require its inclusion in any phone allowed to make EMV payments. So don't be surprised to see it included in Android phones next year (though it may be called something different) Maybe the 0.15% was quid pro quo for that help, or the licensing of patents that were used in its development. Presumably the banks believed Apple's help would push EMV adoption, which is something that will reduce the banks' costs.

Anyway, it comes down the fact that Apple gets 0.15% because that's what the banks were willing to give them.


DougS Silver badge

Do cheap tablets really hurt iPad sales?

People willing to spend only $50 on a tablet never considered iPad in the first place. To the extent people have really bad experiences with such low end devices and tell their friends they got an "Android" tablet and it sucked, it might even push some people who might have considered higher end Android tablets to go with an iPad instead.

I think the biggest thing hurting iPad sales is the fact that old iPads are still working just fine and people see no reason to replace them. My girlfriend is still using her first gen iPad quite happily. She'll probably do so until it will no longer hold a charge, but it hasn't shown any signs of battery issues at all so that may be a few years yet.

Google's Gmail staggers to feet in China as access partially restored

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Maybe they were installing a MITM attack?

People in China should be checking the certificates Gmail is using versus ones used by people outside the Great Firewall. I wouldn't be shocked if certain people under "suspicion" would find they aren't getting the same certificates as everyone else!

German minister photo fingerprint 'theft' seemed far too EASY, wail securobods

DougS Silver badge

Who are you protecting your phone from?

"but my mate here can't unlock my phone and I can! See? It's working!"

This is all most people are really worried about. If I'm worried about keeping it safe from the police or other more determined attacker I'll use a PIN, too.

The proper implementation is a print for all unlocks, with an additional PIN required after a certain user settable timeout. The paranoid can set the timeout to 0, those who only care about keeping it away from their technically clueless spouse can disable it, I'd choose 30-60 minutes so it wouldn't be too annoying but if the cops arrested me by the time I was booked and they wanted to peruse the evidence the window of opportunity to hack my fingerprint will have passed.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Worse than just data loss

I know you were posting in jest, but even if that was true people leave their DNA all over the place. All you need to frame someone else is a bit of their that would be collected to combine with their fingerprints and you make them the leading suspect.

Especially if their DNA would not be expected at the crime scene but yours would be expected (if you committed a murder in your own home or car where your stooge would rightly claim he's never been)

Kim Dotcom vows to KILL SKYPE with encrypted MegaChat

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I don't trust Skype

But I trust them a hell of a lot more than I trust that fatass blowhard!

German minister fingered as hacker 'steals' her thumbprint from a PHOTO

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Re: Hope this doesn't lead to...

Leading to many millennials getting rejected for a security clearance down the road because their 'privates' were made public on Snapchat at age 16...

DougS Silver badge

Re: Real Security systems

Those are still easy to fool. Instead of using a gummy bear you use a very thin sheet of flexible material that is affixed to a living thumb. Presto, pulse and temperature present and it wouldn't even look strange to someone who saw you since you'd put your thumb in the reader normally. Alternatively, it wouldn't be difficult to heat up a gummi bear and add a slight pulse to it.

Fingerprints are simply not something anyone should trust for a "Real" security system. A scanner that detects the live blood vessels in the eye would be harder to fool, well above the casual attacker, but this data is on file for anyone who visits an optometrist for yearly eye exams. For the less than casual attacker, breaking into your doctor's office and getting this information to allow them to build a false eye is doable if the secrets your eye unlocks were valuable enough.

In order to make biometrics secure, you need a couple guards on hand to check ID (and hopefully recognize you) and make sure you look into the scanner with your actual eye.

HP breaks for Xmas week - aka 'staff hols' - source

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Re: Nothing to see here

Even the US I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be legal for a company to not have any time off. Maybe he works for one of those companies with ping pong tables and masseuses at their disposal that did away with vacation by trusting employees to take time off as needed and not abuse the option? If you have one of those hyperactive startup cultures where people work 90 hours a week, it seems silly to allocate them x days of vacation when they've already worked more than the average person does in a year by the first of June.

'Apple of China' Xiaomi: Yep, we HAVE just bagged $1.1 BEELLION

DougS Silver badge

That valuation is a fantasy

They can't keep their pricing/margins the same as now and justify a valuation of anywhere near $45 billion, not without expanding their market and risking their current success. This is no different than the silly valuations VCs put on overly hyped companies in the US.

Not saying they can't ever become worth $45 billion or more, but they can't do it with their current razor thin margins on phones. They'll either need to increase their margins, risking losing sales to a hungrier competitor willing to accept less, or move beyond smartphones and start offering PCs, TVs, or other gear.

I haven't heard anything about them moving to other markets, but with a $1 billion cash injection and easy loan terms in China they have the ability to do almost anything they want now. Still a risky investment though - just because they were successful in smart phones, doesn't mean they would be successful in PCs or TVs.

Why has the Russian economy plunged SO SUDDENLY into the toilet?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Gulp!

Who do you think he's going to attack with nukes? The US? Saudi Arabia? Ukraine? He may be backed into a corner, but he's not a raving lunatic, so I don't think this is a worry.

He'll do what every despot does when backed into a corner. He'll deflect blame from himself and his government by blaming outsiders. He'll whip up nationalist fervor so people feeling patriotic instead of angry about being deprived and becoming poorer. Hitler blamed the Jews, Putin will blame the West. He's always wanted the good old cold war days, and this might let him get them back. But he knows he can't go to war with NATO, so he'll just hint at it enough to make his citizens feel pride in their strong country, without giving the US cause to actually think he'll carry them through (because he saw what happened when Saddam took such talk a bit too far and people actually believed he had WMDs)

White hats do an NSA, figure out LIVE PHONE TRACKING via protocol vuln

DougS Silver badge

Re: What about VoLTE?

Sure, the content of the calls can be made secure via encryption, but not the information about who you are calling and who calls you. Given the way the NSA determines who to target, in a way that's almost more important than the actual content of your calls.

Granted when the telcos cooperate they will just hand this data over, but presumably not all Euro telcos are as easily bent over as the US ones. With this SS7 attack the NSA can still get this information about who Angela Merkel is calling and who is calling her even if she's got NSA-proof call encryption.

DougS Silver badge

What about VoLTE?

What happens when everyone is on VoLTE in a few years? Since that's packet switched rather than circuit switched, if both ends of the call were on the same carrier that supports VoLTE there would be no SS7 protocol used, right?

Assuming that's true, what about calls between two carriers that support VoLTE, would they use SS7 for the hand off or would it be IP between the two?

Any call involving a traditional landline on either end is probably ALWAYS going to involve SS7. There isn't any incentive to replace it when traditional landlines are a dying breed, being replaced by mobile and VoIP. As the article says SIP is probably just as exploitable because it too is being extended well beyond its original intent, and wasn't built from the ground up with security as the most important feature. So ironically, wireless calls may be more secure than other options in the future, when it has been (or was believed to have been) the opposite in the past.

I think it is safe to assume that the NSA, GCHQ and friends have been exploiting all the weaknesses in SS7 for ages, and will probably work behind the scenes to extend its life as long as possible, or insert weaknesses into whatever eventually replaces it.

Lizard Squad gang moves from PlayStation, Xbox Live attacks to Tor

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There are more than a million Tor relays?

That seems unlikely to me, that would mean about 0.1% of full time internet connected machines are Tor relays?

SEXY GOLD FireFOXY LADY hits Japan in transparent kimono today

DougS Silver badge

Re: Transparent case added late in the design process no doubt

Good point. It is too bad, if there ever was a phone that could benefit from not having design compromises based on having a swappable battery, it is this one.

DougS Silver badge

Transparent case added late in the design process no doubt

Otherwise they would have rearranged the design so the battery isn't sitting there taking up most of the view. Let's see all the tiny little antennas and PAs, various chips doing this and that.

Well, I guess that would eliminate the ability to open the case and swap the battery - but if it is sealed and the battery isn't swappable then that particular design could have been so much better. Not saying a transparent case is necessarily all that great, but it is unique, and the more complex they can make it look the more it will appeal to the steampunk set.

2014 AD: A year in storage. STILL not enough nails for the disk coffin lid

DougS Silver badge

Clearly SSD capacity rise and foundry limitations

Flash has already changed people's lives - even the lives of those involved in technology - far more than any of the other stuff you listed.

When we look back at 2014 in 10 years, do you really think the thing people will remember is "that's the year when hyperconverged buzzword server SAN object storage buzzword changed everything?" Or "that's the year when I realized hard drives weren't going to be a niche in the future, but would disappear entirely".

We can change a bit from 0 to 1 WITHOUT CURRENT, say boffins

DougS Silver badge


Another cool memory technology that we'll hear about from time to time over the years that will never amount to anything.

Am I becoming cynical, having heard about bubble memory as a kid and about a dozen other fabulous technologies since from whatever that holographic disc technology was to IBM's racetrack to phase change memory that was supposed to be the next big thing a decade ago. The one out of all of them that sounded the least promising, flash, is the only one that has had any impact in my day to day life.

So forgive me if I fail to be as excited as some of the rest of you seem.

Xiaomi: It really ISN'T a biz-miracle idiot tax like Apple

DougS Silver badge

Eroding market share is irrelevant

Apple sales are still increasing. Expectations are that Apple will have Q4 sales about 30-40% higher than their previous record (which was Q4 last year, which beat Q4 the year before, and so on) Obviously Apple can't keep increasing their sales forever, but even if this quarter marked their high water mark and they never beat it, there isn't any reason to think their sales will fall to any significant degree.

At least not until something disrupts the current smartphone market the way the iPhone and Android phones disrupted the cell phone market - when that happens, Android's market share will probably become just as meaningless as Nokia and Blackberry's market share were post-disruption.

Yes, Apple's market share is eroding, but all the growth in the smartphone market now and for the past year or two is in the low end. As component prices decrease it was possible to make smartphones for $100, then $50, and now $25. Why should Apple care about missing out on selling $50 phones? What value is it to them to increase their market share but decrease their overall margin by selling $50 phones?

I'm not sure why you think the most profitable company in the world is not acting in the best interest of their shareholders. If they chased market share they'd have to price far lower, and there's no way they could sell enough to make up the lost margin through higher market share. If you think I'm wrong, show your math. What price should they sell them at, how many to do you think they'll sell at that price, how will that affect their profit?

Or do you think that Apple can somehow keep the current iPhone pricing, but sell cut down iPhones to the low end market without cannibilizing the high end market or eroding the market perception of Apple as a premium brand? That is something which succeeds far less often than it fails, and the outcome of increased market share still has no positive benefits.

DougS Silver badge

Music, books, videos and apps are a drop in the bucket

Apple only makes a few percent of their profit on those, and for all the whining about Apple taking 30% of the poor suffering app writers' revenue, Google takes the exact same cut! If Apple is rolling in the cash from sell this stuff, Google ought to really be raking it in since they get the same margin and there are many more Android devices than iOS devices, but as with Apple the Play store is a rounding error in their overall profit.

Apple makes almost all their money on their hardware, plain and simple. They can do that because they are the only ones who sell Macs and iPhones, while Android (like Windows PCs) are trapped in a race to the bottom where no one could make outsized profits once consumers figured out that a Dell, HP and Lenovo are pretty much the same. Unfortunately for Samsung, they've now figured out Samsung, LG and Xiaomi are pretty much the same thing, too.

The only way you can make money selling hardware is to have something unique others can't match. That's why Apple is able to successfully make the margins they do, because whether you like it or hate it, you have to concede the iPhone offers a different experience than Android does. Samsung tried to became unique with all their S-this and S-that but they've failed in doing so because they're just putting a layer of makeup on the same Android everyone else starts with. Xiaomi phones have Mi-this and Mi-that which do the same things as Samsung's S-stuff, in a phone that costs less than half as much but runs the same Android as Samsung.

Apple provides a different user experience since they make their money from hardware, rather than from trading on personal information like Google does. It is up to the individual to determine whether escaping Google's grasp is worth paying more for a phone, whether iOS provides a better experience than Android, whether iPhones are better designed than their Android competitors, whether the iTunes store has higher quality apps than the Play store, etc. Samsung's problem is, if you opt for an Android, why should you pay iPhone like prices for a GS5 or Note 4, when you can get the same thing for half the price from companies like Xiaomi?

Blind justice: Google lawsuit silences elected state prosecutor

DougS Silver badge

Not sure who to hate here

So to be safe, I'll hate 'em both.

Hilton, Marriott and co want permission to JAM guests' personal Wi-Fi

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hilton, Marriott et al market themselves to business travellers

It is easy to charge through the nose for something like this for business travellers, because they know it'll be expensed. That's why hotels marketed at leisure travel generally offer free wifi.

No different than charging higher ticket prices for flying Monday-Friday, versus weekend stays.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Jammers ???

Technically, sending de-authentication packets isn't jamming. I wonder how they'd like it if wireless software added a switch that allow ignoring de-authentication packets?

FCC: A few (680,000) net neutrality comments lost in 'XML gaffe'

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In other news

FCC reports 100% of remaining comments support dropping net neutrality, so they'll assume the ones lost did so as well.

GCHQ: We can't track crims any more thanks to Snowden

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Let me get this straight

So even though the Snowden revelations were supposed to be about stuff that was supposedly being used ONLY against terrorists, it must have been successfulyl used against organized crime and drug lords prior to Snowden? Otherwise revealing it wouldn't have hurt their ability to track those criminals.

So if it was being used against them, why not use it against suspected tax cheats, or someone violating the no-watering ban during a drought? I'm sure they'd say "no, this would only be used for serious crimes that threaten lives" but why should we believe that any more than when we were told the mass surveillance was only done to fight terrorism, or told before that there was no mass surveillance?

Here's why these damn nazis lost the ability to spy on criminals and terrorists, and Google and Apple took away your ability to request their help in decrypting the contents of someone's phone: They can't be trusted not to use it for EVERYTHING. If we did what they want and let it be used to fit all crime, you know damn well the next step would be that corporations can have access to it, to determine who is stealing cable or who has a dog in their hotel room they aren't supposed to have.

Google's first stab at control-free ROBOT car rolls off the line

DougS Silver badge

There's a big difference between fly-by-wire and automated flying, and an even bigger difference flying where you have three dimensions to avoid stuff instead of two, and airspace is tightly controlled, versus driving in very narrow corridors of a 2D surface that changes its coefficient of friction, has construction and detours everywhere, and drunk or distracted drivers and pedestrians alike.

Autopilot would be a lot harder to make work in airplanes if there were pedestrians at 35,000 feet, the air corridor between O'Hare and JFK had construction detours that made it hard to understand exactly where you should be driving, flying through rain made it more difficult to turn and change speeds, etc.

Stop Xiaomi, oh stop Xiaomi: Samsung to debut Tizen mobe in India in January

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Re: I keep hoping for Tizen to come out and succeed.

The problem is that Tizen is owned by Samsung, so no one else would release a Tizen phone. For a competitor to Android to emerge I think it needs to be truly open source (not 'mostly open source' like Android) and not tied to one company's self-interest like Android is. There needs to be a compelling reason for OEMs to design phones around it rather than just taking the easy way out by using Android.

The problem is, what incentive do people have to write that OS if there isn't something in it for them. The noble open sourcers tend to only work on stuff that interests them, and few are interested in designing user interfaces and polishing them. They'd rather code some cool new feature, which is why it took so long for the Linux desktop to get to a state where it would be acceptable to the average user.

STAY AWAY: Popular Tor exit relays look raided

DougS Silver badge

Why not have the server automatically shut down

If someone opens the chassis while it is running or plugs in a USB device? Or go into some sort of suspended state where it needs him to input his PGP key or whatever to restart it?

Having monitoring that detects "server is now unsafe" but leaves the unsafe server running is kind of stupid.

Hackers pop German steel mill, wreck furnace

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Dumb question I'm sure, but if you turn off a furnace full of molten metal and it solidifies, can't you turn it on and re-heat that solidified metal? Does the cooling metal cause something to crack so it can't be safely turned back on again?

Careful - your helmet might get squashed by a Volvo

DougS Silver badge

Re: Ok. interesting, but...

Or don't carry a phone at all. When I'm biking (or driving for that matter) to the gym, I leave my phone at home.

The whole idea seems silly, how you can tell if the car "imperils" you? If it is headed directly towards you? Every time I'm rounding a curve to the left (or to the right for you UK folks) the cars behind me will be going directly towards me for a moment. Not that even having a 100% perfect warning system that depends on the cars is practical (what about non-Volvos, or cars earlier than the date of implementation....I only need to wait a couple decades before I'm really safe?)

If at first you don't succeed ... Fire, FIRE again: Amazon mulls smartphone sequel

DougS Silver badge

Re: Anything to keep fooling the investors

Patience is one thing, Amazon is simply a leftover dotcom bubble that never burst. It is like fusion power, Amazon actually making money is a mirage that is always in the future.

Reaching for a bigger market share when your margins are near zero is like the old joke about "we lose money on every car we sell, but we'll make it up in volume". They were able to muscle out the brick and mortar book stores, but they can't muscle out the brick and mortar retailers - they all sell on the internet too. Plus there are many other internet based retailers only a click or a price search away, giving Amazon little latitude to decide "now is the time to raise prices so we make better margins and actually show a profit".

First they thought having recommendations "people who bought x also bought y" was the answer, but it is very limited utility. Then they thought having a wider selection than anyone else would make them unique enough they could charge more, but there are thousands of niche sites that collectively have a far wider selection than Amazon ever could. Now they think faster deliveries are the answer, with the same day and one hour stuff they're testing. There's certainly a market for that, but not a big one. Most people are willing to wait a few days to save a few bucks. When they figure that out, they'll have a new scheme they'll hold out to the investors as the way forward.

Now Obama seeks China's help to halt alleged Nork HACK ATTACKS

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Re: "We will respond proportionately."

My bet would be putting pressure on China to limit NK's internet access to the rest of the world. There are only the chosen few and the hacker group who have internet access in NK anyway (aside from those who live near the border with China and can access their cellular network at the risk of imprisonment or worse) so it would be something that only affect NK's leadership, but doesn't make things worse for the every day citizens.

DougS Silver badge

Seems at least as likely, if not more likely than your conspiracy scenario, that the reason for the CIA visit was that they had to do with the attacks, which were known but not yet publicly announced at the time of the visit. We all know from experience that the date a corporate attack is announced is well after the date when it is detected, which is well after the date when it first occurs.

If the US wanted to do a false flag operation to target NK, why Sony? Why not have the attack go against Pentagon or other government computers? They could release some of the files Snowden/Manning already released or already stole but has yet to release to add legitimacy to it, toss in some legit-looking but ultimately fake stuff as needed for foreign policy goals, and put that up on the hacker sites to be found by the press.

You seem to be suggesting that the CIA visit was to tell Sony "give us all your data, then we're going to put it out on the internet and do massive damage to your company and its reputation" to serve our foreign policy goals. Sony Pictures is supposed to just sit there and take it, without any complaint?

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