* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts

DougS Silver badge

Bugging a cable under construction

Wouldn't this be the ideal time for the US to send the Jimmy Carter down to tap that cable? They won't be able to notice it when it isn't yet operational, solving the (potential) issues with bugging it later.

That assumes Alcatel-Lucent isn't directly cooperating with the NSA to build in the taps and save us the effort of doing it surreptitiously (though the NSA is so paranoid they'd probably tap it on their own as well "just in case" Alcatel-Lucent changes their mind down the road and turns off the build-in tap!)

Man's future in space ... Barack Obama: Mars. Narendra Modi: Mars. Vladimir Putin: Er, Moon

DougS Silver badge

Re: No Brainer, Really....

It is much easier to SAY you're going to set up a lunar base than to actually do it. He gets the prestige at home for making bold plans, but the schedule is so long that if he's still alive when it becomes clear it will never happen he can blame it on someone else.

Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR

DougS Silver badge

If anyone is rushing to market, it is Samsung

They pushed the release of the Note 4 up, at least in China. I guess they saw an opening from Apple's approval delay there. Or who knows, maybe even greased the right palms to cause that delay...

DougS Silver badge

Re: Thanks again....

If you have a phone that can go 10 to 13 hours browsing the web, how exactly are you ever going to run out of battery? I suppose if you're on calls 12 hours a day you might, but I don't see battery life as an issue now and getting additional battery life is irrelevant to me. Being able to swap the battery is even more irrelevant.

If it is a problem for you or you have some sort of paranoid fears of running out of battery, then by all means make sure you have a battery that can be swapped. The idea that someone needs a battery in the 3000 mAh range AND it needs to be swappable is utterly ludicrous to me.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Thanks again....

You mean the Anandtech review that showed its battery life exceeds that of both the GS5 and Note 3 by over 10% despite a much smaller battery, and the 6 Plus going beyond that by another 20%?

Just because Samsung makes ads claiming that iPhones have battery life issues doesn't make it true.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Thanks again....

There is a bit of truth in that. For most people, calling is probably a minority of the time they spend using a smartphone. Still very important, of course, but no longer the primary activity as it was in the feature phone days.

4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM

DougS Silver badge

Re: Saying they have "respect" for her

Sad that I'm seeing so many downvotes for stating something so reasonable. Must be more basement dwelling Reg readers who don't speak to any women aside from their mother than I thought!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Saying they have "respect" for her

Lust is fine, but part of respect is not telling a stranger you lust after her so much you think about her when masturbating. Just like you shouldn't tell an ugly person they're ugly or a fat person they're fat.

DougS Silver badge

Saying they have "respect" for her

In the sentence saying they'd fap to nude pictures of her...

I think they need a new dictionary with a more accurate definition of the word "respect".

AVOID the Apple Watch. Buy a drone or robot instead, techies told

DougS Silver badge

Re: A lot of CEOs said the iPad wouldn't take off...

I would expect that if Apple sells something like a 18K watch for a few thousand dollars as some are claiming they might, they'd have a very attractive trade-in program or it would even come with free upgrades for the next x years. Otherwise what's the point of selling something made with solid gold if it becomes obsolete in a couple years and you have to take it to a jeweler and get screwed on the melt value of the gold?

DougS Silver badge

Re: A lot of CEOs said the iPad wouldn't take off...

If Apple is successful selling into a luxury segment it doesn't follow they would be successful in all parts of that market. If Tesla builds a luxury car, they might steal some sales from Lexus and Mercedes, but if they steal zero sales from Rolls and Bentley that doesn't mean they're a failure in the luxury segment.

The luxury segment has a pretty broad price range from "yeah, I could easily afford that since I make a pretty good living" to "I might have to give up a few things, but I could have that if I really wanted it" to "I know a few people who might be in the target market, but it is beyond my means" to "only the 1% of the 1% would even be allowed to apply for the wait list to buy one"

DougS Silver badge

Re: A lot of CEOs said the iPad wouldn't take off...

Apple experimented with solar charging but that doesn't provide enough power for a device that does much more than display the time.

DougS Silver badge

Overnight charging - not likely

People are reading a lot into an offhand mention of charging during a presentation that didn't once address battery life. It may have even been calculated to throw off the competition who will think producing watches that last only a day will be competitive.

I'd be shocked if it requires overnight charging. It doesn't support cellular, and doesn't require regular communication with anything. Apple is very good at reducing power use - look at the battery life Anandtech's testing shows from the 1800 maH battery in the iPhone 6 compared to other devices with far larger batteries.

Apple is clearly holding back some surprises for the full introduction, and I think this is one them. Bet the battery lasts at least a week. Based on current Android watches, the Apple Watch would likely have a battery of 300-400 maH. That's a fourth the size of the iPhone 5S battery, which is rated for a standby time of up to 250 hours.

No one gets anywhere near 250 hours of course, because it depends on having a very strong cellular signal and not touching your phone AT ALL during that time. No one uses a phone like that - if you do, what's the point of a smartphone? But how much are people going to touch their watch during the day? It won't be touched all the time like phones are, so standby time is a better measure of potential battery life than talk time or video watching time.

Bash bug: Shellshocked yet? You will be ... when this goes WORM

DougS Silver badge

Smartphone vulnerability?

There's been mention of a potential vector for iPhones using DHCP; I guess the BSD DHCP client supports a way of receiving environment variables from the server, so a rogue DHCP server could potentially be set up.

Does Android also use bash? I assume there are no external ports open, so I can't think of any way this could be exploited. It would be fairly nasty if it could, given that most Android devices wouldn't be updated.

Apple is too shallow, must go deeper to beat TouchID fingerprint hack, say securo-bods

DougS Silver badge

Re: Biometric Companies charge a premium for that vein pattern/blood flow technology

Apple bought a biometric company (two in fact, I believe) so that's not the issue. Perhaps patent licensing would be if they don't hold enough biometric patents to form a cross licensing agreement, but presumably other biometrics companies would be happy to discuss much lower per unit rates or licensing per year given that it would mean a huge increase in licensing revenue.

DougS Silver badge

Getting it working is the first step

Then they have to figure out how to make 150 million of them for a reasonable price. They might be working on it, but that doesn't mean it will be successful.

Given that even multi-thousand dollar fingerprint scanners are bypassed in multiple ways, I don't think you'll ever see a fingerprint scanner (or retinal scanner, or any other body part scanner) that is as foolproof as security researchers dream about. The real world is a problem like that.

Bracelet could protect user herds from lurking PREDATORS

DougS Silver badge

Re: The obvious flaw

Hopefully once it decides you're you, as long as you remain within a few feet of the keyboard you'd remain authenticated.

Supercapacitors have the power to save you from data loss

DougS Silver badge

SLC cache vs supercapacitor

some drives are using SLC NAND for a dedicated write cache instead of RAM, which is reserved for a read cache and read-only copy of the block map, to avoid the expense of a supercapactor. That may not be the best idea for a write heavy application like a database, but for consumer use it would be fine.

NSFW: Click here, watch iPhone 6 being TORTURED

DougS Silver badge

Fandroids must be conflicted

On the one hand they must enjoy watching iPhones destroyed in some entertaining ways.

On the other hand, by watching and providing the guys doing these videos enough clicks/views to pay for the phones they're destroying, they're helping to contribute a few more dollars to Apple's bottom line.

Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack

DougS Silver badge

Re: This is a flaw in almost all fingerprint scanners

In which case I don't want the "wipe after 10 attempts" because I'll probably forget the password :)

DougS Silver badge

Re: This is a flaw in almost all fingerprint scanners

I'm still on a 5, so I don't know for sure, but can't you have Touch ID and a password? If I was paranoid, I'd want both, because it raises the bar.

I've got my phone now set to 4 hour timeout for passcode, because while I'm slightly paranoid I'm also lazy and don't want to enter my passcode all the time. Since my phone is usually on my person when I'm with others, I don't see it as a big risk.

In an ideal world, I'd like to see Apple have an option "use Touch ID, and also require passcode if phone has been locked for <same settings as passcode settings now>", so I could have the same thing I do now except I'd have the added protection of Touch ID. But if my phone was lost, or I was arrested and it fell into police hands, after four hours even if someone found a latent fingerprint on my phone (I hear cops are good at that) they'd also need the password to unlock it.

DougS Silver badge

This is a flaw in almost all fingerprint scanners

Even the multi thousand dollar ones destined for secure access to rooms. Ditto for retinal scanners and the hand scanner thing used for border entry in the US. That's why for full security you need something beyond that - so set a password in addition to using Touch ID if you think this leaves you too exposed.


DougS Silver badge

Re: It doesn't happen on the Samsung Galaxy Notes

I'm sure many many people will have a 6 Plus and never have this problem, so the fact you didn't have the problem with a Note wouldn't mean on its own that it can't happen to others - or at least that it isn't a problem with other phones. Google HTC m8 bent for instance. Apple gets a bunch of negative publicity about some issue that affects a small minority of people with every iPhone release. Remember "Antenna Gate" on the 4, the "yellow screen" on the 4S, the purple tinged photos on the 5, and I'm sure there was something on the 5S I'm not remembering.

Hate to sound like "you're holding it wrong", but people will have to decide not to keep the 6 Plus in the back pocket of their pants or a front pocket of overly snug jeans and then sit down. From the video of the guy who bent the 6 Plus with his hands trying the same with a Note 3, it "bends", but doesn't stay bent. Since circuit boards and glass screens aren't meant to bend, you might still have problems putting that into a tight pocket. It won't stay bent, but repeated bending and holding a bent position while sitting are not good for electronics and could eventually damage it. People wouldn't necessarily attribute it to bending when it stopped working or the screen broke.

DougS Silver badge

Given the amount of effort required in that video

This isn't something that is going to going to happen to a phone in a normal front pocket. If you keep it in your back pocket, or have jeans that are so tight you have to exhale before you can put your phone in your pocket, then you might have problems!

I did kind of wonder about this when I first saw how thin they were, especially the larger one. Looks as though Apple has reached (if not surpassed) the limit of thinness unless they move to a Titanium case or get that Liquid Metal finally working.

Though I have to say I'm kind of impressed how much it can be bent and the screen stays intact. I would have thought it would take very little bend before the screen would fracture.

MOM: CHEAP Mars ship got it right first time. Nice one, India

DougS Silver badge

Can NASA outsource to India?

Saves money for the corporations doing it, though perhaps the rovers wouldn't outlast their design life by quite so much.

Titan falls! Blizzard cancels World of Warcraft successor

DougS Silver badge

They still have 8 years to release beore it becomes the most delayed game ever

See Duke Nukem Forever.

Ab phab: Apple is Britain's coolest brand YET AGAIN

DougS Silver badge

Definition of cool

For those criticizing the way they're determining this by asking "key influencers", how are they supposed to determine cool? It doesn't work by reviews, specs or anything else technical.

The people complaining are the people who were never cool in high school and still don't understand that popular people determine what cool is, and whether you personally have a high opinion of those popular people is as irrelevant as it was when you were a spotty 16 year old.

Complaining about the whole concept of "cool" is fine. Complaining that they aren't deciding what is "cool" correctly because you think the answer it gets is wrong is stupid.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Double plus good

Seems to me the conformist chooses Android. They've got the big market share, not Apple.

Apple slaps a passcode lock on iOS 8 devices, but cops can still inhale your iCloud

DougS Silver badge

This is why I've never adopted iCloud

I really want to use it, as it would be so much more convenient than iTunes backups which I don't do nearly as often as I should, but until I can control the key as I do with iTunes backups I haven't done so. I thought I was probably being a bit overly paranoid was considering using iCloud anyway until Snowden's revelations showed that far from being overly paranoid, I wasn't nearly paranoid enough about what my government was up to!

I hope that given Apple's focus on privacy in iOS 8 that they're working on doing the same for iCloud and just don't have it ready to be rolled out yet. Not that it is that difficult to do, but doing it right so it is as easy and transparent for the end user who may have multiple devices syncing to iCloud could take a bit of time. I'll stick with my irregularly scheduled iTunes backups in the meantime.

DougS Silver badge

Re: It probably doesn't bother cops that much.

The cops have to get into your phone to get at these plain text logs though. They have to make you unlock it first, which at minimum will require a warrant. Even then, could they force you to unlock it with your fingerprint in the UK? I know they can force you to give up your password over there, but that's not the same thing.

If they could do so, and you were really paranoid, it would be nice if Apple had a coercion erasure feature, so you could program a different finger you'd use to unlock the phone triggering an instant, silent erasure. "Sorry officer, I just had my phone replaced earlier today and haven't had time to restore it from backup yet"

If you trigger the erasure accidentally, well, let's just say that's incentive to backup often!

DougS Silver badge

Re: surely the lesson here is...

The iCloud keychain is protected and Apple can't access that. It is everything else in iCloud that is still left open - it is encrypted in transit and on iCloud servers, but Apple owns the key, not me - something I hope Apple addresses next.

This is the one and only reason I've never adopted iCloud and continued using the less convenient option of iTunes backups, because I can encrypt that with my own password and I control it. I'm having to give up some protection by doing so, because I end up only backing up my phone every few weeks (at best) rather than having it done nightly if I was using iCloud.

Microsoft vs the long arm of US law: Straight outta Dublin

DougS Silver badge

Simple solution

Have the end user data encrypted with a password that is kept only on the end user's side. If Microsoft is forced to hand over the data, they can only hand over encrypted data. Theoretically the NSA may be able to decrypt that given enough time, but the effort would only be worth it for true terrorist suspects, not random fishing expeditions. Though I think Microsoft is right to fight this, regardless.

I suppose there's a downside that if the user loses his key he loses his data forever, but online services to back up your keys (run by/from countries that don't cooperate with the US courts) would undoubtedly spring up to fill that gap for those who can't manage this themselves.

If I was transported back 30 years to Reagan's Cold War, what the US is trying to do would sound like something Reagan would be speaking out against the USSR or East Germany doing, and contrasting it with the US where we're protected by the Constitution. I guess we all got too fat and happy not having a war come to our borders for well over a century and being lone remaining superpower, so worries about a comparatively small number of people lost to terrorists over a decade ago have sadly made the masses all too willing to hand over their liberty in exchange for reducing the 0.00001% chance they might fall victim to a terrorist. Bin Laden may be dead, but he won.

Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Really ?

The squealing starts before the disc is being damaged. If you ignore that high pitched squeal and it becomes a growling grinding noise then your disc is being damaged, but you had ample warning from the harmless squealing.

There's no fix for stupid, people will drive with low tire pressure or a lit check engine light for months, too.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Really ?

Mine does, and so did the one before it. If you hear a high pitched squealing noise (typically you need the window open to hear it, or someone outside your car notices it) that goes away when you hit the brakes, it means you need new brake pads.

Not sure if all makes of pad work that way, but they all should. No need for "big data" to get involved here, though I wouldn't mind if there was an "idiot light" for this since you won't hear this noise in the winter as you're driving around with the windows down and the heater blowing.

Apple iPhone 6: Looking good, slim. AW... your battery died

DougS Silver badge

@Kristian Walsh

Merchants will have to go out of their way not to support Apple Pay. In the US retailers are being forced to be EMV compliant just over a year from now. Those that aren't will be penalized with higher transaction fees. Apple Pay is the first fully EMV compliant payment solution out there, so any retailer who adopts EMV will automatically support Apple Pay. They pay the same fee either way (the bank is eating Apple's 0.15%) so why should they care?

Apple Pay is more secure than NFC in the US because it hasn't been passing tokens, it has been passing the actual card number. NFC outside the US was more mature and already had the security the US will finally be getting with EMV.

I agree it is not a lock-in for Apple, and I don't see anywhere that Apple is claiming that it is. It is more the people assuming "oh, it is Apple so of course they've created a proprietary system". Apple is merely claiming you can use your iPhone 6 to buy stuff in a more secure way, which is true. Currently it is the only way to do so except for the small number of people who might have early EMV cards (not sure if those are being distributed yet or not) but it is standards based so an iPhone owner can choose to use their EMV card instead of their phone and it works the same.

DougS Silver badge

@AC 0.15% fee

The banks are eating the 0.15% fee, not the merchants. The merchants rate won't change, but as they will have reduced fraudulent charges they're forced to eat, they win.

The banks also win, because the reason they're willing to accept 0.15% less is due to a reduction in their own costs for fraud (issuing new cards, fraud detection infrastructure, more CSRs to deal with customers calling in about fraud, etc.) Presumably by more than 0.15%, or they wouldn't have agreed to it. They also get the first fully compliant EMV implementation out there, so they can begin pushing that harder.

Apple wins, because they get 0.15%. That's a tiny drop in the bucket for them, even if Apple Pay eventually carries billions in transactions per year, but it compensates them for "first mover" advantage in being the first to see NFC as a way to benefit the consumer by making payments more secure, instead of merely a way to take a cut (like the carriers) or "hey look at me, I can buy stuff with my phone in a way that's actually less secure than when I buy stuff with my card" (previous adoptions of NFC payments on phones)

So everyone wins, except the fraudsters.

DougS Silver badge


The merchant doesn't have power in this relationship, so they aren't going to get this, especially when they've demonstrated they can't be trusted to keep end user information safe.

As for what happens if your battery is flat - it won't work. Nor will Android NFC payments in a year when they've caught up and use the same one time codes required by the upcoming EMV standard (in the US at least)

DougS Silver badge

@Captain Black

Apple has said they won't collect data on your purchases. If you choose to assume they're lying, that's up to you.

DougS Silver badge


If you use Apple Pay, a one time code is sent to the merchant, so they don't have a re-usable credit card number stored as they will if you swipe your credit/debit card. They don't get your name, nor any sort of unique information at all that lets them know whether you're a first time customer or visit them daily.

So not only are you safe when the next Home Depot style breach hits (about one per month lately) you don't give their Big Data machine any personally identifying information.

But yes, you do have to whip out an expensive phone, so you might want to pass if you're in a dodgy neighborhood.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus: GORGEOUS FAT pixel density - but it's WASTED

DougS Silver badge

Samsung did copy the "phablet"

Not from Apple, from other Android OEMs who did it first. Nevermind that claiming that "same thing, but bigger" is something that can be copied is makes "rounded corners" look like innovation by comparison.

Besides, Apple isn't aping the Note, because there's no stylus. Pretty sure that's the selling point of it as far as Samsung is concerned.

Swiss cops BAN MASKS at meeting of rebellious United Nations IP staff

DougS Silver badge

Will the police be wearing masks?

Seems like that is becoming more common in such situations. I think if the people aren't allowed to wear masks, the police should not be either.

Jesus phone RAISED from DEAD. Watch iPhone 6 get BURNED, DROWNED, SMASHED

DougS Silver badge

Re: Tim Cook?

I think repairability still takes a back seat to design at Apple, but if Ive's designs can be made more easily repairable it only makes sense to do so. Not because Apple particularly cares about do-it-yourselfers, but because they want to make it easier for Apple to repair.

Durability likewise - takes a back seat to design but if you can make it more durable you reduce the number of staff at Apple Stores who are dealing with getting a customer's phone repaired instead of selling stuff. Presumably more durable phones make for happier customers too, especially clumsy ones!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Go on, fandroids, you're allowed to cry

Why should they cry, or even care? I don't care how durable other phones are, only the one I have - and to be honest, really only to the extent I think I might be likely to accidentally damage it. Go ahead, make an Android phone that's able to survive down to 660 feet like diver's watches, watch me not care.

Nothing is going to stop trolls from claiming that whatever phone they're slagging on breaks easily, can't survive a foggy day or generally sucks in every conceivable way. Trolls on either side of the smartphone fence don't let little things like facts get in the way of their trolling.

I sold 10 MILLION iPhone 6es at the weekend, says Tim Cook. What did you do?

DougS Silver badge

Re: "The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone"

The CPU is reportedly 25% faster despite clocking less than 10% faster. You do realize it is possible to improve CPUs beyond mere clock rate, right? Otherwise iPhones would not beat (in some benchmarks) or come to close (in other benchmarks) Samsung phones that clock nearly twice as high.

Moon landing was real and WE CAN PROVE IT, says Nvidia

DougS Silver badge

Sahara probably more interesting than the Moon

Quite likely ancient civilizations thrived there before it slowly turned to desert after the last ice age ended. If we knew where to dig, we might find civilizations older than anything we currently know. Not likely on the Moon, unless magnetic anomalies helpfully show us the location of alien artifacts.

Your location info is too revealing: data boffins

DougS Silver badge

Seems pretty obvious

If you reduce resolution to "what cell tower are you connected to?" you narrow down where everyone lives within a range of a single cell tower by seeing where their phone typically spends the night. You can further reduce them to "where they live and where they work" pairs by seeing where their phone typically spends weekdays.

With those two steps alone given those two data points you can probably narrow down most to a few dozen candidates, some already to a single candidate. Add a third location for hours aside from home/work, like their favorite pub, their girlfriend's address, their favorite fishing hole or whatever and you can probably narrow down to a single candidate in the majority of cases with only three known cell tower locations!

Now add tracking for others who live with you, like your wife and her place of work, your kids and where they go to school, etc. and any family is probably super easy to identify. Good thing the cellular companies don't provide cell tower location information to the NSA to save forever.

Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list

DougS Silver badge


So you want a Sarabes Oxley type law for data protection?

Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst

DougS Silver badge

For once an analyst is correct

He's saying you can't read much into sales figures of products that are supply constrained, so whether the announced sales number is lower, the same, or higher than last year is irrelevant because that only tells you how many were able to be produced prior to launch.

It tells you nothing about the actual demand, so it is really only useful for a measure of "are they having manufacturing difficulties or not?"

Apple's warrant canary riddle: Cock-up, conspiracy, or anti-Google point-scoring

DougS Silver badge

Re: more money than the GDP of a small-medium sized country

You mean the one in Chile?


If there's another one being tried in Guatemala, I don't know why anyone should expect it to work out any better.

THE DEATH OF ECONOMICS: Aircraft design vs flat-lining financial models

DougS Silver badge

Re: Mark assets to Market

Another problem, in my mind, is the states that don't allow mortgage recourse. It will probably come as a shock to our non-US readers, but certain states in the US (such as California and Florida, epicenters of the housing bubble) don't allow banks to come after a mortgagee's assets if they default. They can take the house, of course, but if that falls $100K short of paying off the mortgage debt they can't come after the $200K you might have sitting in your checking account. You'd take a hit to your credit score for a few years, but that's it.

NINJA loans encouraged people who had no assets to take on more debt than they could handle, but non-recourse mortgages encourage people with assets to take on debt beyond their means. Particularly for investment properties, such as second/third homes in warm non-recourse states like CA, FL, and AZ.

Texas is also a non-recourse state, but didn't see a housing bubble. I guess because it is less desirable to "snowbirds" looking for second homes. Other than Texas, the list of non-recourse states matches up well with the states most affected by the housing bubble with the exception of Nevada. That's a recourse state, but saw a big bubble too. Lots of people there with no assets, probably more to blame on NINJA and negative amortization loans.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019