* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Euro consumers have TOO MUCH choice – telco operators

DougS Silver badge

The US reasonably has two players

T-mobile's coverage and use of weird bands that are incompatible with everyone else makes them a non-starter unless you never venture out of large cities. Sprint's bizarre fascination with the wrong technology at every turn always leaves them investing in working around this missteps and playing catch-up with the big boys.

There's really only AT&T and Verizon, and that's no choice because neither one wants to truly compete with the other. They're happy to keep prices high and rake in profits, and let Sprint, T-mobile and the little guys like US Cellular and regional carriers fight it out for the cheapskates.

The reason why someone in the industry would look to the US as the model they want to emulate is they look at the prices we're paying AT&T and Verizon and they could only dream of raping you Euros in like manner!

Ford dumps Windows for QNX in new in-car entertainment unit

DougS Silver badge

OS in car != devices supported

Apple doesn't want you to run iOS in your car, they want you to have full access to your iOS device and its features in the car. There's nothing stopping a car running QNX from doing so.

I think in the future cars will have software that support at least iOS and Android. What OS the car may be running will be of interest to almost no one, because you won't run apps on your car, you'll run them on your phone which your car's OS will interface.

QNX is a good choice for the car's OS because as a true microkernel will be easier to keep secure.

El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

DougS Silver badge

Thank you

For leaving "this week's stories" alone since that allows me to do what I really want, which is to quickly peruse stories that are new since my last visit to see which ones I'm interested in reading.

The future looks bright: Prepare to be dazzled by HDR telly tech

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Re: The fundamental problem for Greens...

Many improvements reduce power consumption, and LCDs are fairly inefficient in converting power to light since they rely on blocking light. Maybe this will drive development of self-illuminating technologies. Or cause people to revolt against EU nanny-state tendencies (like mandating use of micro USB just before a far superior USB connector & standard is introduced!)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Another rant

Do you really think people are throwing away their old TVs? Of course not, if they're still working they'll sell them on Craigslist or something. There are still a lot of old CRT SD TVs out there that people won't replace until they die, or until some tosser sells a three year old 50" HDTV for $60 because they just bought a 65" 4K TV :)

Brit boffins debunk 'magnetic field and cancer' link

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Re: @DougS

The conspiracy theorists claim that humans can't survive the radiation outside the Van Allen belts so we couldn't have gone to the Moon.

If we sent people to their death on the Moon not being able to bring them back as you suggest would be possible, that would still amount to NASA foisting a pretty humongous lie on the public! :)

DougS Silver badge

@User McUser

How does the presence of reflectors on the Moon prove humans personally put them there? The argument is not that we haven't landed things on the Moon, but that we haven't landed people on the Moon.

DougS Silver badge


You just disproved your first sentence and proved the second by calling into question the methology of the study. As would a creationist when presented with evidence that the Earth is older than 6000 years, i.e. carbon dating does not work as expected because decay occurred at a faster rate back in the day so it looks like those bones are millions of years old.

Given that we now believe that the post-Big Bang inflation happened at a faster rate and has since slowed (and more recently maybe sped back up again) it will be hard for argue to his satisfaction that "yeah, we were wrong about the cosmic inflation thing, and still can't explain how it works, but trust us we're right about radioactive decay rates remaining the same across millions of years even though humans have only been measuring it for a hundred"

DougS Silver badge

You can't use science to disprove theories not based on science

Go ahead, try to prove to anti-vaxxers that vaccines are safe, prove the Earth is older than 6000 years, prove humans walked on the Moon in 1969, prove that 9/11 wasn't a government conspiracy!

I mean, these theories aren't as ridiculous as the idea that people invented microprocessors instead of the technology being stolen from the Roswell saucer, but they're still pretty out there.

Uber? Worth $40 BEEELLION? Hey, actually, hold on ...

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Re: Surprise - the bailouts were profitable!

My point was that all that money that the US government put into Fannie/Freddie has now been paid back and are now accruing profit for the US government. The "large loss" you mention is gone as all that original money has been paid back. ALL of the money (plus 7.5% as of Dec. 1) the US government put for for ALL bailouts has been paid back in total, with some sectors like the automakers still not fully paid back but compensated for others (and bailing them out meant their employees who stayed employed kept paying taxes, instead of being added to the unemployment rolls so really the auto bailout has been paid for too if you take that into account)

There are only some states in the US that are "non recourse" and allow you walk away from your debt as you say. It is a minority of states though - however, it is probably no coincidence that most the states at the epicenter of the mortgage crisis in the US were non recourse.

"Where the money came from" was of course additional debt of the US government, but as it has been paid back the net debt added is now zero. There were other measures like QE that will take years to unwind, but now that the US government is no longer continuing to add to that total it will resolve itself over the next 5 to 10 years as most of the debt held by the Fed matures.

I agree that other countries approached the problem differently, due to different circumstances, and their bailouts may not be as successful as the US bailout can be judged in hindsight. That may be the reason why the US economy is finally starting to show signs of strength while much of the rest of the world is still struggling with the effects of the economic shock.

DougS Silver badge

Surprise - the bailouts were profitable!

Fannie Mae alone earned a profit of $84 billion in 2013. That's more than Apple, Google, Microsoft, Exxon and GE made in 2013 combined.

Certainly the way it was done where those responsible for the mess escaped blame and got to keep their ill-gotten gains really sucked, but in the US the bailout has been paid for and will end up with very large profit.

Not saying it is a good thing for the government to be in competition with private business, but since private business demonstrated it was not capable of managing mortgage sales on its own I'd prefer the taxpayers take the profits rather than a few CEOs and connected shareholders who get warned in time to cash out before it is too late, while the little guy takes the fall.


Microsoft BEATS Apple, Google ... to accepting limited Bitcoin payments

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Typical Microsoft

Follow the trend after interest in it has peaked and it is becoming passe.

RIP P4ssw0rd? IT giants agree to share patents to rollout two-factor auth

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Re: Why single out Apple?

What does making a phone with an integrated touch sensor have to do with it? Google, Dell and all the rest named in the article don't make those either.

Sounds like people are dodging my question and just hating on Apple because they don't sign up for any random collection of corporations that gets together and tries to set a global authentication standard. How many times have we seen efforts to try to create such a standard (most of which happened back when Apple was a small fish so whether they joined or not would have been irrelevant) They have all failed.

I see no reason why this one will succeed, especially since people have no reason to trust US corporations involved in an authentication standard given that it is a proven fact that the US government will twist their arms and Google and all the rest will quickly give in. I'd trust a Chinese company before I'd trust Google, because the Chinese government spying on me doesn't hurt me since China has no power over me. The US government spying on me is a very bad thing since I happen to live there.

DougS Silver badge

Why single out Apple?

I don't see Facebook, Amazon, IBM, HP, Oracle, SAP, and on and on!

But I guess because Google is involved you're going to claim Apple is defying this alliance that has yet to produce any finalized standards, let alone test implementations, because you guys love to hate on Apple?

Hipsters snap up iPod Classics for $$$s after Apple kills rusty gadget

DougS Silver badge


I can't see the last generation of these ever being worth all that much. Now if someone has a first generation iPod that's still new in the box, I could see that being worth a lot someday. You know, to the sort of people who collect anything from original Star Wars action figures to restored 60s muscle cars - stuff that lets older people with too much money relive their youth.

Confused about 5G? So are we, say carriers

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Re: Cart beats horse

True that. Once everyone has 4G everywhere, some marketing guy is going to decide that their network should be marketed as 5G.

After all, we haven't even hit _3G_ yet - we'll need LTE-A before we can hit 100 Mb/sec that was the original requirement. The 100 Mbps mobile and 1 Gbps fixed listed here for 5G were part of the original requirement for 4G. We're many years from that! By the time we actually hit true 4G, I expect we'll be on 6G with rumblings about 7G around the corner :)

Mom and daughter SUE Comcast for 'smuggling' public Wi-Fi hotspot into their home

DougS Silver badge

What if someone uses it to download copyrighted movies or child porn?

Does anyone want to bet that Comcast is able to determine it came from the public hotspot instead of the homeowner? If they can tell that, there's the out for the homeowner to use the public hotspot instead of their private wifi to download illegal content, send email to ISIS asking for a membership application, etc.

USB Forum submits itself to electrical probing

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Re: 100W ?!?!?

5A max, so you get 60 watts at 12v or 100 watts at 20v.

DougS Silver badge

Re: USB 3 is a disaster - WiFi and other wireless interference is awful

Good luck finding a Bluetooth device that doesn't use 2.4 GHz! Not to mention, some of us wish to leave our homes on occasion, and can't control who uses 2.4 GHz wifi.

DougS Silver badge

Re: USB 3 is a disaster - WiFi and other wireless interference is awful

No, it seems to be saying that shielding is required to avoid interference. Buy quality hardware instead of low priced junk and you won't have these problems.

Buy Your Own Device: No more shiny-shiny work mobe for you

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Mail+ for Outlook

I use this on iOS; it uses OWA so it doesn't require the MDM hooks. It does push notifications for emails/appointments, and pretty much does everything I could ever want. Maybe power users would find it wanting, but if they would I guess I'm not even enough of a power user to know what's missing!

No NAND's land: Flash will NOT take over the data centre

DougS Silver badge

I'd love to see any analysis that shows $/GB for SSDs matching that of hard drives in two years time.

Maybe it does if you extrapolate from the past five years, but if so it totally ignores economics (you know, supply and demand) because Chris is right, the capacity exists to make only a few percent of the total TBs of hard drive output in the form of flash. Even if you assume a very optimistic 10x growth in flash bits and demand growing at 0% over the next two years, there isn't nearly enough flash to go around! The result, the steep drop in $/GB flash prices is going to hit a floor far enough above $/GB hard drive prices to compensate for the performance difference, as economics says it should.

Such a floor would add some certainty for the investment required to build additional flash fabs, but we're still talking a minimum of a decade before enough capacity could come online to replace hard drives. Probably longer given how insatiable the world's storage appetite is. Luckily, there is little reason to replace hard drives in a lot of roles that consume a lot of hard drives. For archival backup where tape is too slow, or disk to tape backups, flash gains you nothing. Ditto for applications that require a lot of capacity and sequential I/O - flash gains you nothing over striping a bunch of hard drives together.

Much storage isn't performance sensitive to the point that all flash offers any advantage over a two tiered approach with 5-10% flash for the hot spots and 90-95% hard drives for the rest. I will agree that all laptops/desktops shipping in 2-3 years will be all flash, simply because the per bare drive minimum price is lower for flash than hard drives, so once the amount of flash included in those minimal drives is sufficient for a $250 PC (let's say 250 GB) that's what it will include.

It remains to be seen how long the strings of 3D NAND can be made, but the most optimistic projections I'm aware of show it petering out somewhere between 128 and 256 cells. We're already at 32, so there's not much more to look forward to there unless they figure out a way to extend that. If they don't, NAND $/GB hits a wall, and we better hope for a competing technology like memristors to pan out!

Sacre block! French publishers to sue Adblock maker – report

DougS Silver badge

Re: Money speaks, as usual

I agree, this is the first I've heard of this practice as well. Anyone know of a competing Ad Blocker? Probably time for a change. Just how at first everyone viewed Google as way to escape from the evil Microsoft, now more and more of us are pushing Google further and further away because of their evil.

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised, the makers of Ad Block Plus want to get paid and the idea was probably too tempting to resist, but it is disappointing nonetheless. I'd rather they hit everyone up for a buck or two - I have no problem paying for something I find value in, but I insist on a transparent transaction. Enough with the "free" stuff that isn't free except to people who don't value their privacy.


DougS Silver badge

"Apple's standard" is the BANK'S STANDARD

It is EMV, what the banks are pushing and what everyone is going to use because the banks are the ones who decide, not Apple or Google. All the other standards will die, this is the one that will remain. Not because of Apple's support for it, but because it originated from the banks.

Solar sandwich cooks at 40 per cent efficiency

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Re: Uh, so let me get this straight...

There are multiple kinds of efficiencies possible. Watts/m^2 is one, and that is what this increased. $/watt is another, and that is not helped by this.

So it may not be useful on your roof where $/watt matter, but on a satellite or other area limited circumstance $/watt is of little consequence while watts/m^2 is a very big deal indeed.

Also, if you used mirrors to focus the sunlight so you needed 10% of the panel area you previously did, it might turn out cheaper in $/watt to use 3 panels and a mirror after all...

The internet is less free than last year. Thanks a bunch, Snowden

DougS Silver badge

Don't blame it on Snowden

He was just an excuse for something they wanted to do all along.

Like how after 9/11 we were no longer allowed to leave football games at halftime and get back into the stadium. They claimed it was because "terrorism", but I'm sure they'd wanted to do it for years because people would leave at halftime to slam a few beers, eat some food that wasn't overpriced, etc.

'We're having panic attacks' ... Sony staff and families now threatened in emails

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Clearly, it was Reg favorite commentard amanfrommars1

I've noticed his posts have been getting a bit more lucid over time, presumably the AI is improving as it grows. He is now able to carry out complex hacks, maybe he's the one Hawking and Musk are worried about.

US govt tells ICANN: No accountability, no keys to the internet

DougS Silver badge

Re: ICANN mismanagement and nepotism

I knew nepotism wasn't the word I was looking for but it was late so I didn't bother. Self-dealing would be a better term.

DougS Silver badge

ICANN mismanagement and nepotism

Amazingly it is so bad that even US haters who would normally be calling them out (to put it kindly) over this don't seem to have too much of a problem with the US keeping control, because whatever the US does wrong holding the keys to the internet, ICANN would compound by orders of magnitude.

Misty-eyed Ray Ozzie celebrates 25th birthday of Lotus Notes by tweeting about it ...

DougS Silver badge

I don't think Ozzie understands how Twitter is supposed to work

Though I guess anyone who follows him deserves to get spammed with a novel.

Wheels fall off bid to sue Apple over iTunes anti-piracy shenanigans

DougS Silver badge

Re: Barrister, Lawyer, Thief, Oh you pick a name.

What actually happened is that until the trial begun the serial numbers of the iPods in question were not provided to Apple, so there was no way they could have known until now whether the plaintiff had standing or not.

Once they were provided, Apple checked their records and found they were all either purchased outside the time in question, or not purchased by the plaintiff (instead purchased by the plaintiff's husbands' law firm - which just so happens to be the one representing the plaintiff) This law firm obviously didn't do their homework on their way to thinking they were going to cash in on a juicy class action fee.

If Apple gets it thrown out it won't be with prejudice, so they'd be able to re-file, but it would undoubtedly take several years to make it back on the docket and be heard. By the time it is finally heard, accepted for class action, all the litigants signed up, goes to trial and all appeals are exhausted the iPod product line may no longer exist.


DougS Silver badge

I'm sure their real customers are keen to sling ads at kids

Google will claim it is educational and developmental and so forth, but it will all be a smokescreen. They're chasing after the almighty dollar just as hard as Microsoft, Apple and Facebook.

Is EU right to expand 'right to be forgotten' to Google.com?

DougS Silver badge

Screw the EU

If Google is forced to comply their laws, they should replace the links that are hidden by "CENSORED BY THE EU", so people who go googling for "Mr. Former Pedophile" can sort through 20 pages of that until they get to other links about him.

Comply with the letter of the law, but not the spirit. That's how you treat stupid laws, and tinpot bureaucrats overreacting their jurisdictional boundaries.

UK slaps 25 per cent 'Google Tax' on tech multinationals

DougS Silver badge

Wouldn't this discourage companies from having a presence in the UK?

Let's say you start a software company, or a company selling widgets, based in the US. If people in the UK want to buy your products, they go online to your web site or to Amazon, and order it, and it is shipped to you. Other than VAT, how exactly can the UK claim a penny of tax from you?

Now Apple isn't going to close the Apple stores in the UK, Google isn't going to giving up selling ads in the UK, but let's say Xiaomi wanted to start selling phones in the UK. What's their incentive to hire a single person or rent a single foot of space in the UK, if they're going to be subject to a 25% tax on the profits? The UK would have to attack them via tariff, and that would become very tricky, very quickly.

Not saying that countries shouldn't try to get their fair share of tax revenue, but hitting up the multinationals that have built up business in the UK today in this manner will simply discourage the next generation of multinationals from setting up in the UK tomorrow. Or at the very least cause them to delay their presence in the UK as they will see it as a less profitable market due to the additional tax.

Part 3: Docker vs hypervisor in tech tussle SMACKDOWN

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fewer OS instances

How would Microsoft justify additional licenses for containers, when there is only the single OS running? I would think they'd just license the container software, since only Microsoft can add the required kernel hooks they don't have to worry about third party competition...

DougS Silver badge

Fewer OS instances

The win for containers IMHO is fewer OS instances. It matters not whether the OS running Docker is a physical server or a VM, either way you get the benefits of application isolation without dealing with more OS instances. Even if you didn't pay an extra penny to license/support these additional OS instances, there are still costs associated with installing/maintaining them.

Pebble: The brilliant stealth wearable Apple's Watch doesn't see coming

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"Doesn't support Windows Phone"

I'm sorry it doesn't support a niche product with only a couple percent of market share. The days when cross platform app meant it worked on both Windows 98 and NT 4.0 are long gone. In the mobile market Windows Phone has less market share than the Mac did at its lowest point, and not much more than desktop Linux at its peak!

MEPs want 'unbiased search', whatever that is – they're not sure either

DougS Silver badge

Is France running the EU now?

The policies coming out lately seem to have in a lot in common with the protectionism that has always defined France. The Germans don't seem to be running it any longer, at least they always seemed firm in their belief that they could out-engineer the rest of the world so they didn't need to worry.

Orion: To Mars, the Moon and beyond... but first, a test flight through Van Allen belt

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why a heat shield?

I imagine you're thinking that theoretically you could approach the atmosphere at a very shallow angle? Two problems with that, one you will simply bounce off it like a stone skipping on a lake, and two even if that didn't happen, you'll have a hell of a lot of lateral momentum which is just as bad for generating heat/friction (not to mention being a serious problem if you still have it when you're ready to land)

The only way to avoid the need for a heat shield would be to slow down before re-entry. That means carrying a hell of a lot of additional fuel, with the resulting problems in lifting all that extra fuel off the ground when you first launch.

Never fear, Glassholes – Intel to the rescue! 'New CPU' for tech-specs

DougS Silver badge

Re: Can't see it being used in the medical profession

If it can be used in the medical profession, it won't be Google that sells the product. Google can't envision the existence of any product that doesn't collect information useful to their mega advertising machine.

The problem with doctors using it is it requires a voice interface. Who wants a doctor who is looking up symptoms while he stands over you? That wouldn't fill me with much confidence - I could do that at home for free! If he's on a tablet or retreats to his office to check his books/computer, he can maintain that confident air of knowledge that is important for a proper functioning of a doctor/patient relationship.

For nurses, I could see it. If she's got her hands full with changing an IV or whatever she can refer to the patient's chart to confirm orders, see alerts for one of the other patients who needs assistance, etc. But, as you say, subject to pretty rules about data sharing, which is totally opposed to Google's corporate DNA. If I had to pick the company most likely to sell large numbers of these to hospitals, I'd bet on IBM before Google, Apple or Samsung, that's for sure. The hardware will be incidental versus the consulting, integration and software services to make it useful for them.

DougS Silver badge

"required patents"

I suppose you think Google can patent "glasses with a display on them" or something like that? If it were possible to patent ideas, they would be unable to do so due to the prior art shown in any number of sci fi movies/TV shows that had similar smart glasses / HUD lens.

Not sure why you think Google has invented something novel that no one saw coming. They weren't even the first to have a functioning prototype of smart glasses, they just got the publicity and the ability to develop it due to being Google. They didn't invent this any more than Apple invented the smartphone.

I just have to laugh if you think this will change the world. Drink the Google kool aid much?

No wristjob, please, we're Apple fans: Just 10% would buy the Apple Watch

DougS Silver badge

178 million est. for 2014

So 10% of them would be almost 18 million. Of course, there are many more iPhone owners - around a half billion, so that would be 50 million. Or 140 million if 28% buy.

This is all pointless until Apple releases it. Most of the people who say they're going to buy it will still evaluate the decision once it is released. The people who say they might will wait until they see one a friend has, see what kind of stuff it can do, etc. and have to be won over before they'll buy.

If you asked people on January 1, 2007 whether they're interested in owning a smartphone, a small minority would have said yes. Since iPhone and Android made owning a smartphone a lot more useful than existing crap from that time like Windows Mobile, old school Blackberry and Nokia's weird N devices, a lot of people would have changed their mind to make smartphone ownership the norm in developed countries and on its way in the RoW.

Feds dig up law from 1789 to demand Apple, Google decrypt smartphones, slabs

DougS Silver badge

Re: still have a backdoor though right?

Nope, iMessage is encrypted point to point with device keys. At least for one-to-one, not sure if that's true in a group conversation.

DougS Silver badge

Re: still have a backdoor though right?

The fact that iCloud contents are not encrypted (they are encrypted in transit and at rest, but that encryption is controlled by iCloud, not the end user) is why I don't use it.

I really wish they'd fix that, I'd love the convenience of backing up instantly to the cloud instead of booting Windows on my laptop, plugging in my phone, and saving the encrypted (with a key I select) backup. Because it is a pain to do those backups I only do it every couple weeks...

Bought an iPhone 6 Plus? Odds are you've binned the iPad

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20% versus 28% - not that much difference

Seems the conclusion is "owners of brand new iPhones use them more than their several year old tablets". I could have told them that.

How about controlling for the age of the iPad, whether it is a Retina model, whether it is an iPad 2 upgraded to iOS 8 (hear that slowed it down noticeably, though 8.1.1 is supposed to address that)

Maybe revisit this in a year when the 6/6+ are a year old and the 6S is the new hotness. Bet people use that more than something they've owned for a few years, at least at first, and the stats on the 6/6+ have leveled off a bit...

Wikipedia won't stop BEGGING for cash - despite sitting on $60m

DougS Silver badge

Better to beg for money $3 at a time

Than take millions from the Koch brothers or George Soros and articles start subtly being revised to fit their political slant.

I'm more concerned about the poster above who says the money is going into a Swiss bank account. If true, what possible reason could there be for that, unless the founders want to skim some of it without anyone finding out?

Netflix: Sacre vache! French resistance from the vestibuleurs de consommation

DougS Silver badge

Google translate?

You're joking, right? You think the crap translation Google provides should be relied on by a business at all, let alone for legal documents, with only a quick read through by a lawyer required? You have got to be kidding me! This might take the prize for the dumbest and most naive thing I've ever seen on the Reg!

As for Google, they should just quit doing business in France. Pull all ads sold in France, disable google.fr, and block French IPs. Let them go after Microsoft....unless they decide to do the same. Then the French will have what they seem to want, an opening in the market for a French company to create a French search engine that complies with the laws of France!

Ex-GCHQ boss: Hey, UK.gov, have you heard how crap iPhone biometrics are?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Crypto-lock idea:

If your idea were possible, you'd only want to use it for the biggest state secrets around, not for your phone. I really don't want to be in a position where it would be impossible for me to unlock my phone so the criminal doesn't pull the trigger or the spooks don't bring out the rubber hoses.

LA schools math quiz: $500 Chromebooks or $700 iPads for students?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Ok

That, along with their low cost, will make them much less likely to be stolen than iPads. I wonder what percentage of the school supplied iPads will still be around and in proper working order three years from now? Even if the Chromebooks break easily and must be replaced yearly, they'd still end up cheaper than the list price of the iPad (though I have a feeling Apple would give them a pretty hefty educational discount)

DougS Silver badge

The schools will "choose"

Does the money come out of their budget, or out of some district-wide fund? I imagine the choice will be different depending on that answer. In fact, if it comes out of their own budget most schools would choose to give them neither, but the district will mandate whatever it wants and the schools have to go along with it whether they actually have software/lesson plans for the iPad (let alone the Chromebook)

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