* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

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

DougS Silver badge

Re: Better Than Z2

Your phone failed to withstand a drop of less than 3' onto CARPET? I can't count the number of times I've dropped or bumped my iPhone (3GS, 4S, 5) onto carpet around my house from up to 5' and never had any damage whatsoever.

The only times I had damage from drops were a few scuffs on the edges from dropping onto concrete (one time each for each phone) I'm a little more conscious about holding it securely when I'm around other people or hard surface, especially concrete. It wouldn't ever occur to me to be worried about it hitting carpet!

I don't know how bad the build quality would have to be for a bump off the couch onto carpet to do that!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Slightly impressed...

The thing that impresses me about surviving that dunking is that Apple has never said a single word about the iPhone's ability to withstand water. Other phones are listing it as a feature, but Apple is not - perhaps because they have designed it to be water resistant, but don't have the official rating. Either because it might be water resistant for shorter periods but not the full 30 minutes required by IP58/IP67, or because they don't think the rating is worth bothering with.

Most people just want their phone to be undamaged if caught out in the rain or knocked into a sink and hurriedly fished out. 30 minutes of protection is overkill. Besides, those IP58/IP67 ratings are only for fresh water, so a dip in a chlorinated pool or sea water may cause damage even to a phone so rated.

The fact the speakers quit working underwater doesn't bother me too much. It isn't clear if that was actually a malfunction or just water blocking the movement of the speaker's membrane. Even if it is a temporary malfunction, so long as it comes back quickly I wouldn't care. It isn't like I'm wishing I could make calls from the shower!

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

DougS Silver badge

And you think your simplistic cause is the correct one?

So is your position that FAS157 stopped accountants from the shenigans they were using to hide bad balance sheets by requiring better measurements of fair value, so years of accumulated accounting folly all came crashing down?

Or are you saying that FAS157 itself somehow caused the crash less than a year after it was required to be implemented, even though many of the stresses (like the housing bubble) were occurring long before FAS157 was even contemplated?

Either way blaming the crash on FAS157 is like blaming the crash of an old rusty car with failing brakes on the fact that the mechanic in the shop you took it to for an oil change filled the tires to their recommended pressure - with no way for him to know they were so worn and had been underfilled for so long they were bound to burst when the first bump was hit on a curve at speed.

DougS Silver badge

@Tim Worstal

Your recycling example is a good one. If I'm Coke, and I need enough aluminum to make a billion cans a year, I don't care if it is "new" aluminum or recycled. If you sell me that aluminum, your aluminum output counts towards the GDP, whether or not it is smelted from bauxite or recycled from waste aluminum (like empty Coke cans)

If you were able to use renewable energy (hydro, solar, wind, whatever) in addition to waste aluminum, your operation would be almost entirely resource neutral on an ongoing basis.

Ex-basketball star CUFFED on suspicion of stealing Apple gear worth $14k

DougS Silver badge

Re: Blown Away.

That statistic is a bit misused, because the average NFL career is only 2-3 years. Player gets drafted, traded a couple times, never cuts it as a starter. After he's been doing that a couple years either he gives up or there isn't anyone interested in him when they'd rather look at the new crop of draftees that have a bigger potential upside.

Granted at a half million or so a year he'd be OK if he was socking it all away, but it is easy to blow through that if you've always been the best football player around in high school and college and think it'll be the same way in the pros, and truly believe you'll be making a few million a season before long.

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

DougS Silver badge

How much benefit?

I take it you live outside the US, and have a much better perspective on this than those who are resigned to living under NSA surveillance. Do you really think it would cause a material switch from Android to iPhone over this single issue?

If Apple stood on principle and challenged the government over this, I can see a segment of the US population castigating them as "aiding and abetting terrorism" by fighting the government. It would definitely cost Apple sales in the US. Would they be more than made up for in the RoW?

I guess what I'm asking is: Is this issue going to move the needle in a way that data privacy on a personal/corporate level obviously doesn't? At least based on the fact Android owners are currently willing to hand over all kinds of stuff to Google every time they use their phone, and allow Google to use it to sling targeted ads at them. Pay more for an iPhone, get privacy in exchange. Do people outside the US not care about targeted ads to the same degree they care about mass data collection by the NSA?

DougS Silver badge

Re: How to win friends...

Granted a $250K per day fine is nothing - less than $100 million a year. They'd make that up by selling a quarter million more iPhones a year.

This sort of thing might score points with the Reg readers - at least those whose Apple hatred doesn't color their perception so much that they simply assume Apple is lying and in bed with the government because, well, Apple is "evil", right? But do they run the risk of turning off customers if they take it too far?

It is one thing to be all about privacy. Apple makes money on the hardware, the people who buy iPhones are the customers. Google makes money on advertising, the people who buy Android phones are the product. Playing up that distinction is all well and good, but if they push too far on the "we won't let the government get their mitts on our customer's stuff, and if they do we've got a way to let you know about it even though the law says we can't say anything" they may turn some people off.

Not El Reg readers. I'm talking about the kind of people who think that all Muslims are the same, suicide bombers waiting to happen, the US should nuke the middle east (except Israel) and let God sort of them out. Those people. If Apple pushes far enough to get Rush Limbaugh railing against them for being anti-American and helping the terrorists, there's no way that the Libertarian-leaning techies who decide to stomach a switch from Android to iPhone because of data privacy can outweigh the damage the conservative spin machine would do to Apple.

I think this is great, but I'm really more concerned about Apple keeping my data private from those who want to target ads at me, rather than worrying about NSA trawling. Just encrypt the hell out of stuff, make sure Apple doesn't have the keys and store as little as possible where they must have keys for stuff to work and I'm fine. The carriers are going to cooperate regardless, so the government will know where I am (or where my phone is, which is the same 98% of the time) no matter what protections Apple puts in place. They'll know who I call, when, and for how long. And who I text, unless I text other iPhone owners :) Nothing I can do, or Apple, to fully protect myself from NSA "big government", but they can have a big impact by keeping my data safe from marketers and from "little government" (i.e. police) should I have the misfortune to be arrested, whether deserved or not.

iPhone 6: The final straw for Android makers eaten alive by the data parasite?

DougS Silver badge


I thought Vertu just takes existing phones and blings them up with some gold plating and gemstones? Certainly that's what they used to do for high end Nokias, and do for iPhones. Do they make their own Android phones, or just bling up a S5 or M8?

DougS Silver badge

@Steve Hersey

I think he's implying there would be no middle market. If you can buy an Android phone for $150, and an iPhone for $600, there would seem to be room for $300 phones, but what justifies a phone running identical software costing twice as much?

Samsung has been able to sell Galaxy S and Note for a premium based with a combination of massive marketing spending, specs (bigger, higher resolution, more cores, more MHz, more RAM, etc.) and features (face unlock, eye scrolling, etc.)

They can't market any harder than they are now, it is already starting to become a joke to even their fans with stuff like the staged selfies during big events, or fails like when they pay celebs to tout their products and that celeb tweets from their iPhone the next day. They've reached a point of diminishing returns in specs (does anyone care about getting a 4K phone or 8 cores, has anyone ever run out of memory on a 3GB phone?) and their last few generations of features have been seen as gimmicks even by the Android faithful.

Apple has a "monopoly" on selling iPhones, if you want one you go to them and pay what they ask if you think it is worth it. Samsung is just another Android OEM, they are trying hard to differentiate with their S-xxxx names of existing Android features but is it working? Why should someone pay much more for a Samsung phone versus a no name brand if they run the same software and do the same things? With each revision Google reduces the ways in which OEMs are allowed to differentiate their offerings, so the noose grows ever tighter.

Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE

DougS Silver badge

@Brenda McViking

Sounds like you're confusing walking while chewing gum at the same time type of tasks with true multitasking - trying to split conscious attention between two tasks.

You can't learn to concentrate on driving and be able to tap the keys on the computer in the police car at the same time any more than you could learn how to drive and text at the same time. I doubt their training provides for that regardless, other than giving the list of times when you shouldn't try to do both and hope they listen. The human brain is incapable of switching attention between two tasks instantaneously like a computer can. The reason you can learn to shift gears without thinking is because that doesn't require conscious thought once you've learned. That will never be the case with texting, you can't learn to do that thoughtlessly no matter how much time you spent on it.

As far as flying a circuit, small children tend not to jump out in front of your aircraft, so you don't need to concentrate to the same degree as you do when driving. There is a lot more going on in an aircraft you have to worry about, but nothing is likely to pop up which suddenly demands 100% attention in a fraction of a second the way it can while driving. The only exception might be stunt flying like Blue Angels type stuff where they are wingtip to wingtip. I imagine they are not chatting with the ground during those stunts, the only communication they're likely to do is with each other, and if so I'll bet that communication is every bit as tightly choreographed as the stunts are.

DougS Silver badge

"Advanced training"

Always the excuse for why police can use radios, computers, etc. while driving despite laws preventing it for the rest of us.

You can't train someone to multitask. Human brains have a limited capacity for that, other than the 2% of whatever of the population that are "supertaskers" (which 90% of people probably think they fall under) Cops can't do this any better than you or I can, unless they're one of that 2%.

Besides, the training police have for driving fast many of us spent a lot of time practicing extensively in our younger days. I'd bet on myself (or anyone else reading this who was similarly non law abiding when younger and perhaps still occasionally when older :)) to win a race against any cop who always has and still does follow speed limits as a private citizen and only drove fast during training or when absolutely necessary in his job.

Get ready for another HYPEGASM: New iPADs 'in October'

DougS Silver badge

Re: Enjoy that "security"

What about if you use iCloud? The reason I still sync via iTunes is because I can encrypt my iTunes backup with my own password, but AFAIK data sent to iCloud is encrypted in transit and at rest, but not with a password I provide. If that's changed and now it is using my passcode to encrypt the data so Apple can't get at it on the iCloud servers I'll finally be able to take advantage of its convenience.

@joejack: Sure, NSA can get the encrypted data and brute-force it, but even they have finite capability. The thing most of us are concerned with is the NSA hoovering up EVERYONE'S stuff. If the NSA targets you specifically you aren't going to be able to stop them except by going totally off-grid. The most secure cell phone in the world still allows them to locate everywhere you go because they get the cell tower info from your carrier (and probably most foreign carriers, through legal, semi-legal, or not at all legal means)

Spies would need superpowers to tap undersea cables

DougS Silver badge

Remember that rash of mysterious undersea cable "failures" a few years back?

Funny how they were all carrying traffic to the Middle East and Africa, wasn't it? Such a coincidence...

Maybe they can tap cables without the owner noticing, maybe they can't. But it is pretty easy to simulate an accidental break (find where they trenched the cable relatively near shore and drag an anchor over it, I'm sure there are other ways) and during the time it takes the repair crew to come out, you can replace one of their amplifiers with of your own that includes extra "features".

Apple's Cook: We have never allowed g-men access to Apple servers

DougS Silver badge

Why should they?

Why would Apple want to hand things over without some sort of law (whether known or subject to a NSL) forcing them to? Nothing to gain and a lot to lose if it becomes known.

Given the attention that Snowden has put on the government's data collection on citizens, much of it negative, Apple is merely acting in their own self interest by trying to protect the privacy of their users as much as possible. They have to follow the law, and we may not agree on what the law should be, but they certainly have no reason go beyond what the law requires, and very good reason not to.

For all the whining about how Apple overcharges for their products, most people don't think too closely about the basic difference in how Apple and Google make their money. Tim Cook is right to point that out, and wake up some of the people who dreamily believe that Google is a good guy on your side, versus nasty Apple who isn't. In truth, neither is on your side, they're both on their own side, but Apple's interests and your interests of privacy coincidence a helluva lot more closely than Google's interests and your interests of privacy, that's for damn sure.

US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux

DougS Silver badge

Re: Sceptical

Don't mistake my question for consensus. I don't know nearly enough about RF to know whether that's the case. I don't think that those working on this "twisted" stuff are pursuing a dead end, but when it is translated through journalists who don't know science that well they may not understand the limitations. Maybe it only works in certain circumstances (certain frequency ranges, certain power ranges, certain antenna sizes, etc.) that maybe make it useful for mobile devices but not satellite, or satellite but not UHF broadcast, or UHF broadcast. Maybe it works in the air but not over a wire for more than a few cm.

Lots of possible roadblocks to the hype portrayed in press reports about this, but I'm not qualified to tell what's what :)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Sceptical

I'm with Paul. Consider satellite: In the US, DBS from Directv uses the same frequency range (11700-12200 MHz for Ku; 17300-17700 / 18300-18800 / 19700-20200 MHz for RDBS / Ka lo / Ki hi) for simultaneous LHCP and RHCP polarized signals, which use QPSK or in some cases 8PSK modulation.

So the question is, would what is described in the article allow them to utilize the same amount of spectrum more efficiency than they already are? i.e. multiple LCHP beams with different "twisted" characteristics? Or is that going to increase the noise floor by enough that instead of QPSK/8PSK they have use a lower order modulation or increased error correction so there is little or no increase in actual usable bit rate?

Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation

DougS Silver badge

Re: Also, that title!

They could be both a portal and a shredding machine. You might go somewhere else, with your atoms "slightly reorganized" at the destination.

SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis

DougS Silver badge

Re: What a total rip-off!

Do you not understand that each company made a bid for what they thought they could do the described job for? Boeing is getting more because they bid higher. Unless Boeing performs better than SpaceX, they will have to bid lower if they want to get future contracts where only one winner may be chosen.

Got your NUDE SELFIES in the cloud? Two-factor auth's your best bet for securing them

DougS Silver badge

Re: So we'll all have

If Google and Apple get involved, most of us could get by with one, or maybe two if they don't interoperate well.

The problem with using your phone is that you're screwed you if you don't have it, it is broken, the battery is dead, whatever. This might be about the only reason I could see for a smartwatch - you'd have a "backup" secure element.

Huawei: There'll be BLOOD spilled in the smartphone sector soon

DougS Silver badge

Re: "R&D"?

I wondered about that as well. This year's phones are the same as last year's, and the year before, and the year before that, and so on. Upping performance specs, using faster forms of wireless/cellular, making the screen/battery bigger, randomly throwing on some little bits like NFC and wireless charging do not require a large R&D budget and do not require a "brand name" to sell.

Was Earth once covered in HELLFIRE? No – more like a wet Sunday night in Iceland

DougS Silver badge

Re: Early civilizations and dinosaurs

According to Doctor Who, they had spaceships!

Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure

DougS Silver badge

Two factor authentication

More convenient for users, with two secure elements (watch and phone) to choose from, so you aren't screwed if you lose one.

With all the regulations around HIPAA and privacy concerns, they should require two factor by default for health related data (not stupid stuff like pulse, but true health related data that may end up in HealthKit)

I suppose you could even do three factor (secure element, biometric i.e. fingerprint, AND password) but at some point users will reject it due to inconvenience, even if you make the grandstanding politicians happy.

One sixth of the ENTIRE PLANET will buy a new smartphone this year

DougS Silver badge

Its a common strategy

If you can't succeed in a market, define yourself into a new market (Intel redefining the Surface as a "2 in 1" so Intel leads that new market segment) or define your competition into another market (iPhone, GS5 and Note 4 are now "ultra premium", so Windows Phone doesn't have to compete with them in its market segment)

Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets

DougS Silver badge

Apple Pay is increasing security, that's why the banks are giving them 0.15%

Before you reach for the "what about the nude celeb gate"...

Apple is using the new "EMV" standard that sends a virtual credit card number instead of the real one, so the retailer will no longer have the real credit card number. Thus an exploit of the retailer's systems will no longer be an issue. This incurs a lot of cost from consumers calling in to dispute charges, having to issue new cards to millions of people, dealing with retailers to recover costs of fraudulent charges, etc.

The banks will probably save that 0.15% Apple is taking in the long run - if not specifically from Apple Pay, from Apple Pay helping set the new standard for how banks want NFC transactions to be completed. All the current NFC efforts (in the US at least) will be binned in the coming months, as banks won't play ball except with those who work like Apple Pay does.

Apple does not store the credit card numbers used for Apple Pay on their systems at all (they must store the card used for iTunes, but not the new ones that users may add) so even if they were compromised it wouldn't hurt anything. The card numbers on your phone are stored in the "secure element", which is a special area of the chip that is only accessible via the OS, not by apps. Absent a complete and total ring 0 p0wning of iOS, the actual card numbers won't be compromised on the phones either.

It isn't perfect, nothing is, but it is a far more secure implementation than Google Wallet or any of the carrier NFC schemes. That's why the banks are willing to pay Apple 0.15%. Apple was willing to work with them to do it how THE BANKS wanted, not with an eye towards data mining the users like Google wants or taking the full 2% markup like the carriers wanted.

A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND

DougS Silver badge

Anyone know of a link with details on the process?

Is this made from single silicon wafers that have 24 or 32 layers on them (implying 70-100 metal layers and quite a lengthy processing time per wafer) or chips taken from 24 or 32 wafers that are stacked together using existing technology (albeit with more chips in the stack than I've seen reported so far)

It sounds like the former, but if that's the case why has this type of technology not been used for RAM? It might not result in the highest performance, but having "high performance" RAM soldered onto the server's board and slower "expansion RAM" in super dense DIMMs terabytes in size would be useful in the HPC world if nothing else, as they've already figured out NUMA.

Alibaba: Just kidding about that $21bn IPO ... we actually want $25bn

DougS Silver badge

So maybe Microsoft should have bought Yahoo! after all?

Providing they acquired their 22% stake prior to Microsoft's interest. Still would have been a bad acquisition, but this would have rescued them from being badly underwater on it by now.

Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say

DougS Silver badge


If you're going to be an Apple hater, at least think logically instead of coming up with the stupidest argument possible.

Do you really think the NSA pays anyone for the data they give up? They make them an "offer they can't refuse". Anyway, what is the simplest way for them to get the payment data, to get it from Apple who doesn't necessarily even know what merchant something is being purchased from and what item is being purchased (I don't know what info the payment terminals will actually provide aside from the cost and some sort of transaction ID)

No, the easiest way is to get it from the banks, who not only process Apple Pay payments, but all credit card, debit card, Paypal and so on. The banks already have to provide the government with reams of info, and no one squawks too much about it because people know the banks have to provide this information because "terrorism".

Sellouts! Fans snap up iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders to avoid store queues

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple's web site fell over? How 1990s!

Might have something to do with several million people all trying to access it at the same instant. I suppose you think you'd be able to make it crash proof against that type of load spike? Unless you work for Google or Facebook, I think you'd be wrong.

T-Mobile US goes gaga for Wi-Fi calling, AT&T to launch in 2015

DougS Silver badge

Re: Unbelievable..

Obviously AC isn't paying attention if he didn't know some Android phones have had this capability forever. I'm an iPhone owner, but I was quite aware of that. It always seemed rather pointless to me since T Mobile was the only big carrier in the US to support it, and they pretty much have had to push more consumer-friendly policies as a way of getting some attention from AT&T and Verizon.

What Apple did do by offering this with the iPhone 6 is get AT&T to follow, which is big news. No doubt Verizon will go along as well. One way Apple benefits Android users, even if they don't like to admit it, is they're better at pushing the big boys around for stuff like this. Another example being the agreements with Visa/MC/AXP for NFC, which will probably clear the way for Google to do the same (once they add support for one time use numbers which they should have had all along)

How useful wifi calling really is remains to be seen. If I'm in a place that has an AT&T wifi hotspot, would it force my call onto wifi? What if I don't want that, since it is more prone to packet delays that compromise the call quality? This is great if the cell is overloaded, but if the cell isn't and the wifi is overloaded I'm screwed. Given that I don't save any money this is probably something I end up turning off as being an advantage for the carrier but not for me. Really stupid that the minutes would be counted if I'm using my home wifi!

I suppose it doesn't really matter who is billed for the calls since minutes are no longer a scarce commodity. This would have been awesome about 10 years ago, but today it is meh. I could see it being really handy for those who have poor coverage at home or at work though.

Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained

DougS Silver badge

If they weren't sure about having enough sapphire, they'd make sure they have enough glass on hand. The glass screens cost only $3/ea, so even if they didn't end up using them that's a small price to pay for being prepared. Though they could perhaps be re-cut to be used in iPhone 5S and 5C.

Though I have trouble believing the go / no-go decision was left to a week ago, that seems to be cutting it a bit too close.

DougS Silver badge

Re: It's not new!

Selling a small quantity of a niche product like the Android phones with sapphire screens and selling 150 million a year are two VERY different things.

Apple is clearly not there yet, but they will be there before anyone else. If for no other reason than they spend $1 billion building a sapphire plant that will produce 10x more sapphire than all the other plants in the world combined. If anyone wants to follow them with a mass market phone that sells millions of copies, they'll need to make a similar investment, or hope one of the sapphire producers does. Either way, they won't be able to make the screens as cost effectively as Apple will, since they'll be making so many more and own the factory they're being made in.

Movirt-who? BlackBerry gobbles maker of multi-line smartphone tech

DougS Silver badge

Re: Too little too late?

You didn't contradict what I said, though perhaps I might have been more clear. I said not a lot of PEOPLE would choose Blackberry, thus this won't help for BYOD. Companies that force phones on their employees might choose Blackberry, and this would be useful for that to some extent, but BYOD is gaining strength and the number of companies providing phones for employees are shrinking.

I think Blackberry will be bought out or go under, because they can't stay viable in fourth place in what is essentially a two horse race, and the CEO is too stubborn to realize this and try to market Blackberry's software/security layer to an Android vendor to help differentiate them from the Android herd. Samsung is already going their own way with Knox, but if Lenovo or LG wanted to rise above the rest in the corporate market, integrating Blackberry's technology (and more importantly, their reputation) would be the fastest way there.

DougS Silver badge

Too little too late?

Not a lot of people choose Blackberry, so it wouldn't be used much for BYOD. More likely used for people who have a company force their phone on them and don't want to carry two.

Would have been much bigger news if Samsung or Apple had done this.

Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts

DougS Silver badge

Re: Not sure about this....

It was probably just some poor wording, the 43.2 million will be shipments in 2015. There won't be close to even a 1/10th of that in 2014, given the response so far. As it is that prediction of 43 million will require a hell of a lot of Apple Watches are sold. If they aren't, all the press will talk about is how smart watches are a flop, and Android versions like Samsung Gear will sink along with the Apple Watch.

DougS Silver badge

80 million vs 60 million iPhones sold next quarter

The number sold will be based on how many can be produced. The demand is always higher at first and then levels off. I'll bet they could sell 100 million in Q4 if that many could be produced, but they can't.

If they did sell 100 million, all that would do is reduce the sales in subsequent quarters. It isn't very likely that someone wants to buy an iPhone, finds they're sold out and they'll have to wait, and buys an Android instead. They just buy the iPhone later. Likewise, people who are prepared to buy an Android phone don't walk into an Apple store, see an iPhone ready to buy, and change their mind.

Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

DougS Silver badge

As an American

I can understand the desire for independence, but I fear that once the North Sea oil and gas runs out, Scotland is going to be a pretty poor country. It would be like the rest of the US seceding from New York and California (something I'm sure conservatives would dearly love) leaving the biggest financial center, tech center and tourism behind.

Go home Google, you're drunk! Desktop Maps says The Shard's TWO MILES from actual loc

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple Maps

Whether Google Maps, HERE Maps or even Apple Maps are more accurate for one depends on location. I'd bet HERE Maps is more accurate in the EU, Google Maps in the US.

It is good to see that Apple is continuing to improve their maps. When it first came out I checked some stuff on it where I live and there were a few things a bit out of place but overall it was pretty good - certainly better than how it was portrayed in the press. When I've used it recently I can't find anything wrong where I live, so they've obviously been working behind the scenes to improve it. Presumably fixing the really big errors that made the news the first few months first, before the little local details for understandable reasons :)

PayPal goes crypto-currency with Bitcoin

DougS Silver badge

"Most people"?

I don't know if you could even get most Reg readers or any other self-selected group of techies to say they trust it. The idea that "most people" would trust a cryptographic algorithm over the US government, large bank or Paypal is laughable. Most peope don't even begin to understand what the foundation of bitcoin is, but just know it has "something to do with computers" and therefore in their minds the same viruses and bugs that affect them could affect their money.

The only reason any non-techies have got involved in bitcoin is the hype. They're chasing the next big thing, like they chased the dot com bubble, flipping houses, and gold before it. When the next big thing comes along to distract their attention, bitcoin will be in the past from their perspective just like day trading.

Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple Watch ... a solution looking for a problem

I've never been a fan of the smart watch concept. I could see getting one for fitness tracking when I'm biking, running or lifting, but the idea hasn't excited me enough to actually do so. The Apple Watch presentation didn't change that.

What I think might is seeing what ideas developers come up with when they can start applying their ideas. Cook also hinted in an interview that there are secrets yet to be revealed about it...I can imagine Apple might hold a few things back to save some surprise for the actual launch.

What's an Ultrabook? Now Intel touts 2-in-1 typoslabs to save PC biz

DougS Silver badge

So they've switched

From copying Macbook Air to copying Surface?

TROUT and EELS in SINISTER PACT to RULE the oceans

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hope

Hardly - most politicos will just see them as another (albeit tasty) threat to their power base

Hardly, they'll be trying to work out which party they'll support, and therefore whether they should be for or against giving them the vote.

Payment security bods: Nice pay-by-bonk (hint: NO ONE uses it) on iPhone 6, Apple

DougS Silver badge


Apple has done more than made it fashionable, they've made NFC as anonymous and secure as cash payment through use of one time codes and the fact that no personal information is shared with the merchant. Nor is Apple collecting data on your purchases because they make their money selling you the phone, not selling you out to advertisers.

I always said NFC was a solution looking for a problem, and it identified something I consider a problem - the fact that using my credit card to buy stuff allows the merchant to have my name and track my purchases in places I visit frequently (like a grocery store) or that have my info on file because I've bought stuff online from them as well as in person (Best Buy, Walmart, etc.)

Not sure if it will really be enough to get me using it regularly, we'll see, but it at least interests me enough to try it when I get an iPhone 6. If they had simply implemented NFC the same way everyone else has up until now I would have gone into settings, disabled it, and never changed it because as implemented previously it added nothing but insecurity (risk of skimming)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Help me out here...

Apple's system is NOT building on the credit card number. It uses a one time code, so if the merchant's systems are compromised it doesn't matter.

Essentially Apple Pay is EMV, arriving a year early.

Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?

DougS Silver badge

Apple Finance?

If this becomes a problem, Apple could finance the purchases itself. Why not? They have essentially unlimited cash, have only a third of the purchase price tied up as their cost, and the ability to brick it if you stop making payments. Much simpler and cheaper than car companies having to send out repo men or banks having to go through foreclosure when one fails to make their mortgage payments.

I'm actually surprised a bit they don't already do this, since there are many places where carrier subsidies have never existed. I suppose that with all the different laws that would affect them over the world they haven't seen it as worth the hassle yet.

Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS

DougS Silver badge

Apple Pay criticism over biometrics

Fujitsu thinks facial recognition is better than fingerprints? Why do I find myself wondering if they have an extensive patent portfolio in facial recognition technology? If your fingerprint is compromised, at least you have nine others you can switch to. If your face is compromised, you're SOL.

Not that fingerprint readers are super secure or accurate, but facial recognition is no better. Nor any form of biometrics you're likely to put on a smartphone. The goal isn't perfect payment security, it is improved payment security to the point where the losses from fraud become "acceptable" in light of the cost of further fraud reduction.

By using one time tokens and authenticating with touch ID, Apple has raised the bar in two ways over current NFC mobile payments, as well as raised it over existing swipe only, swipe and signature, or swipe and PIN. Not sure about chip and PIN - does it only transmit one time tokens? If so Apple Pay is no better, but we won't have chip and PIN in the US anytime soon.

Behold our SPINNING DATA GRAVE: WD carts out 6.3TB cold storage drive

DougS Silver badge

Creeping capacity

If it matters for your application, you just use 6.0 TB of it. Some applications don't care, so they get a bit more capacity for "free".

I doubt they're really improving density though. More likely they're making them better so they don't map out as many tracks during the factory formatting and/or have fewer tracks reserved against failures? Be interested to know a bit more detail why this drive would be gaining 5% capacity over nine months.

Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch

DougS Silver badge

@Mike Bell

Where did this "rumor" come from? I've not seen this in the press.

It might be true, Apple would have such a high transaction volume they could shave 0.10% off to pay for their infrastructure. But if they did it wouldn't be a source of profit for them. Apple makes their money on the hardware, they don't need to make money on the transactions or from collecting data on the transactions themselves. Much better that they destroy Google's ability to collect data on the transactions, as the power of Ad Words would be unrivaled if Google was able to track people all the way from first search all the way through to purchase. Apple destroyed Google's business model for Google Wallet yesterday.

Why Apple had to craft a pocket-busting 5.5in Plus-sized iPhone 6 (thank LG, Samsung etc)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space

He didn't say Apple's security was good, he said their security policy was better than anyone else's because they try to do right by the customer. You can be skeptical of that if you wish, but Apple has no incentive to screw over their customers. They make a lot of money when I buy an iPhone, it is not in their interest to add a single digit percentage to that profit by trying to steal my privacy by dealing in my personal data.

Google tries to do right by their customers too, the problem for Google's users are that they are not the customers, they are the product. Google's customers are the advertisers who pay them to help target their ads. Thus Google's privacy policy has a lot more holes than Apple's, because they reserve the right to use just about any information they can possibly collect from you when you search, click or mail.

Someone else said Apple's online security record was "spotty". I take it you're referring to the nude celeb pics scandal from a few days ago? How is it Apple's fault if celebs didn't realize that answering the "security questions" correctly left them open to attack since the answers to questions like the high school they attended and name of their first pet can be easily found on the internet?

Some have criticized them for not offering two factor authentication for iCloud (which they now do, or plan to do) but seriously, are celebs who didn't realize they were exposing themselves (literally and figuratively) by answering the security questions correctly really going to know they should be using two factor security, or even what it is if they see a checkbox to enable it? It is only people who read the Reg who know what it is, if you ask a typical smartphone user (iPhone or Android) you'll be met with a blank stare.

DougS Silver badge

Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space

To the contrary, Apple Pay basically destroys the business model of everyone playing in the mobile payments space before today! This is great for consumers, but everyone else is busy throwing out their business plan and figuring out how to survive this.

I always figured NFC payments would be really hard to make work in the US because everyone wants to take a cut of the transaction. Everyone involved from phone OEMs, carriers, app developers and various others who figured they could insert themselves in the process - all had dreams of making billions off a small cut of the action. Those dreams are now gone.

Apple doesn't need a cut (or profit down the road via using/selling customer data) since they make their money selling phones/watches. Payment processors and banks didn't want to give anyone a cut of their action. Merchants didn't want to give a bigger cut than they give now to enable more pigs at the trough.

So the banks, payment processors, and merchants all became logical partners of Apple, and the massive support they've lined up guarantees Apple Pay will gain traction where others have failed. Anyone who wants to play the mobile payments game after today will have to play by the profit-free information-free rules Apple has now set in stone. Brilliant move by Apple, this deals Google's aspirations a crippling blow by taking away their ability to collect data on user purchases and add it to their massive trove of customer data.

Had Google been able to link purchase behavior all the way back to user searches, the value of that search data and AdWords would have grown immeasurably.

Would Apple godhead Steve Jobs have HATED the Watch?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Short memories

The iPod was also criticized by many at first and predicted as a failure. There doesn't seem to be a good track record for people predicting failures by Apple since 2000. That doesn't mean the watch will be a hit, but it would be foolish to bet against it.

I saw a backstage interview of Cook on ABC News last night and the ABC guy wanted to see how his heart rate and blood pressure were doing after his presentation. Cook was going to show him, then thought better of it, saying "there's still a few secrets in here we haven't told anyone about yet" so Apple may be holding back a few things until it goes on sale for competitive reasons.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019