* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

ARM arms devs for 64-bit Android push with 'Juno' board

DougS Silver badge

Re: 32-bit vs 64-bit

64 bits is irrelevant for SIMD. Nothing stops you from having 64 bit, 128 bit, 256 bit even 1024 bit SIMD running in 32 bit mode, any more than 32 bit CPUs were unable to use 64 bit or 80 bit wide FP.

There are real benefits to 64 bits however, even with only 1GB of RAM like the iPhone 5S has, which is shown in the performance comparison between the 5S running identical apps compiled for 32 bit and 64 bit. For certain apps the difference is exaggerated, because they make use of new ARMv8 instructions, but 10% or more is not unusual for real world gains. Not world shaking, but worth doing since it comes without any additional hit on the battery.

Implementing 64 bits before it is absolutely required is also helpful becauase it gets developers building 64 bit apps now, rather than waiting until they're needed, and will allow Apple to phase out the 32 bit instruction set sooner rather than later. Since Apple designs its own CPU, it will be able to completely dump the 32 bit instruction set sooner, which will make their 64 bit CPUs cheaper and faster.

They may do this with the upcoming A8, since it could run 32 bit code via translation. That would slow it down when running 32 bit code, but it should still be faster than a 32 bit A6 when doing so, and most developers have already updated apps that performance sensitive in any way to build a 64 bit version.

Windows 7, XP and even Vista GAIN market share again

DougS Silver badge

Is this really possible?

Windows 8 has dropped from over 7.5% to under 6% in nine months? Despite millions of new PCs being sold with Windows 8?

Granted businesses and technically knowledgeable people may install Windows 7 on them, but the average person just uses what they get. I wonder if the way they're doing these measurements isn't as statistically valid as they believe?

No sueballs needed: Microsoft and Canon buddy up on patent deal

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Consider that Microsoft lost nearly a billion dollars on the first Surface

and how knows how much on Surface 2, driving down its sales might be doing Microsoft a favor! :)

Amazon reseller lobs sueball at etailer and Apple over listings yank

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So if they admit Apple notified Amazon that they weren't fake

Then how it is a "conspiracy"? Seems more likely it just fell through the cracks at Amazon, or Amazon did an investigation of them and found something else amiss so that even with the Apple complaint resolved there were other matters involved?

Like frozen burgers, 'Bigfoot' DNA samples have a touch of horse

DougS Silver badge


A Himalayan polar bear would probably be much smaller than a modern polar bear. Large animals always become smaller when confined to an island, the Himalayas might as well be an island as far as that's concerned.

Small enough that they'd perhaps be no taller than a man when reared up on its hind legs, as it probably would be when it encountered a human and felt threatened and wanted to appear as large and intimidating as possible. This would fit with the reports which don't indicate Yetis as being 10 feet tall. In that case it wouldn't need nearly as much food to support itself.

Still not sure what it would eat up there, even if it were an omnivore is there enough food in the Himalayas to support a sustainable population of human sized bears? I have no idea, but I hope its true because it would be cool.

Dating app Tinder faces sexual harassment suit from ex-exec co-founder

DougS Silver badge

"came up with the idea for connecting people with potential dates based on geographical location"

How could this have been invented in 2012, when match.com was doing it at least a decade earlier? Even the patent office would consider that obvious.

Creepy battery-operated teddy bear sex toy..,sadly, this is for real

DougS Silver badge

How is this going to be inconspicuous?

She might fool her husband/boyfriend that it is just a teddy bear, but if she tries to take it through airport security and they xray it...

'Sterile neutrinos' re-ignite 'we found dark-stuff' debate

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why's our universe so messy?

If you're going to simulate a universe, you're most likely going to simulate one that has the same laws as yours.

All those climate scientists running their models to see what global warming is going to do, they're trying to get their models right, aren't they? If they simplified stuff, like "no one lives in Antarctica, let's just drop that from the simulation because it complicates matters" then the results would be worthless. I assume the same is true for our universe simulating overlords (in this case they really would be overlords!)

Drone's drug airdrop mission ends in failure for Irish prisoners

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The reason military drones are able to handle the mundane tasks of flight is because operators often control more than one.

If latency were the only issue, the US has bases all over the world, as well as ships at sea, so they could get pretty close to the drones for nearly any operation. I think they fly most of them out of Nevada though.

Mobile SIM chip-makers 'will be fined by EU' for price-fixing, say sources

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Re: 10% of Samsung global revenue

10% of Samsung's revenue would be tens of billions of dollars. You're confusing revenue with profit.

If you're a company that never makes much money at all (let's say AMD for example) a fine of 10% of your revenue could bankrupt you. Hell yes that's a disincentive to do business in places where that might happen, especially for something that could happen without the knowledge of the CEO and board.

A reasonable fine, or even an unreasonable fine isn't going to stop them doing business in the EU. But a fine so unreasonable that it could end your company because of the decision of some underling? You're dreaming if you think it wouldn't affect anyone's decision to do business in the EU.

DougS Silver badge

Re: 10% of Samsung global revenue

If they fined them 10% of their global revenue, they might find they had less competition in the EU simply because some companies would feel it isn't worth the risk to do business there. I'm going to assume that Samsung's CEO didn't know about, let alone scheme/approve price fixing something petty like SIM chips, so a company would be risking a massive fine for something an underling might do on his own!

I'm all for real punishment for those caught price fixing, but fining a company 10% of their global revenue for price fixing something that is a fraction of a fraction of their global revenue is ridiculous.

It would be like the government taking your car if you park in front of a fire hydrant. Sure, we really don't want people parking in front of a fire hydrant, but taking their car would be going well beyond the punishment the crime deserves.

Google pries open YOUR mailbox, invites developer partners

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Re: Google gets permissions wrong again!

I hadn't thought of that, but since these days many people never delete emails, they will have emails that contain years worth of sensitive information.

What's worse I think is the outgoing email. Now that no one faxes anymore, everyone blindly sends PDFs with sensitive information like SSNs, bank account numbers and who knows what else, and it sits in their email outbox essentially forever on GMail, since Google provides tons of storage because they don't WANT anyone to ever delete anything!

Even the rare people who use encryption aren't protected, since the copy in your Sent Items folder is unencrypted!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Google gets permissions wrong again!

It's enough for me to give all my email data to Google. I don't want to share every email I've ever had with third parties.

At some point a company reaches a limit on how much they can monetize you without selling your information to third parties. Perhaps Google is reaching that limit, and trying to Zucker people into giving up their privacy.

I/O: New Google design language will RULE OVER 'DROIDS

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This is not a validation of Microsoft's Metro strategy

As I said in my earlier post, this makes sense for Google, because it should help sales of ChromeOS PCs having an interface Android users will be familiar with.

The problem with Microsoft doing the same thing with Metro is that they're coming from the exact opposite situation. Google has a huge installed base of touchscreen devices, and almost no PCs. Microsoft has a huge installed base of PCs, and almost no touchscreen devices. Making the PC users conform to the touchscreen motif was a monumental blunder for Microsoft, which they seem to be backpedaling away from, albeit slowly (a proper Start menu is finally coming back in the next update, I hear)

I guess Microsoft just can't help themselves making a reviled OS every other rev. I wonder what sort of crazy shit Windows 10 will bring?

DougS Silver badge

"keeping the Mac operating system out of the smart design stable"

Huh? Apple didn't try to push one true interface across everything like Microsoft (and now Google, apparently) tried to do, but they've had guidelines for developers down to the detail Google is providing and more on the Mac since nearly its inception.

Google has little presence on the desktop so they don't have an existing userbase to upset by making it work less well like Windows 8 (and GNOME 3) In fact, it will probably help sales of ChromeOS PCs/laptops by providing people an interface they're familiar with from their Android phone.

Chrome's only problem is that the usage model it is targeted at is the exact usage model where PCs are being replaced by tablets and smartphones. But with a cheap enough alternative, those users will want to have a device available that has a proper keyboard, so making it look/feel like a big Android device that has a keyboard is the way to go for Chrome, I think.

US Supreme Court: Duh, obviously cops need a warrant to search mobes

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Glad it was unanimous

We don't have to worry that it might be revisited anytime in the next few decades.

REVEALED: Reg trails claw along Apple's 'austerity' 21.5-inch iMac

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No one is suggesting more RAM will be "pointless" down the line, but the days of OS and application bloat regularly demanding a doubling of RAM every couple years are long gone. During the typical lifetime of a PC, it is unlikely that 8GB will be a limitation for the usage model typical of an all-in-one.

If you expect to be able to keep it until 2026 and have it be as useful then as it is the day you bought it, well, that's probably not likely with anything except a tower PC where you can replace the motherboard and all that's on it, the storage and the power supply :)

EXPOSED: Massive mobile malware network used by cops globally

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Carriers updating firmware

Bit of an advantage for the iPhone here - carriers can't upgrade your firmware. That may not matter much in the US, but for non-US users, especially those in countries where the carrier is under defacto control of the government, the inability of the carriers to do this could be comforting for dissidents (or criminals)

Of course, if iPhone use became widespread among the "undesirables" for that reason, the government would ban iPhones, or treat those who have one with increased suspicion.

DougS Silver badge

Remote operated jailbreak?

Don't they mean automated? Otherwise it would require that they not only compromise the victim's computer, but also have someone available to "remote operate" the jailbreak when he happens to connect it to.

I guess if you keep your iOS current you're somewhat safer, as Evasi0n jailbreaks are generally not able to keep up with iOS releases (no 7.1 or 7.1.1 support currently, for instance)

Oculus seeks partners in drive to get a billion people into virtual reality

DougS Silver badge

A billion people?

How about they get a thousand people first, and work their way up to a million, before they start fantasizing about a billion.

Apple wins patent to pump ads to your iDevice while you're watching TV

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Re: Since Apple never license their crap patents...

Yeah, good thing Google doesn't make 100% of their profit via advertising, otherwise they might be cooking up something like this themselves.

DougS Silver badge

Re: @dan1980

Haven't seen Hawaii 5-0, but Ford's product placement in Warehouse 13's final season was actually kind of funny in how forced and awkward it was.

I couldn't tell if it was done so poorly because the writers and actors were pissed they had to do it and made it as awful as possible, or if that was the best they could do and it was still that awful.

FAA shoots down delivery by drone plans

DougS Silver badge

Because once there's a business model built on using drones, it would be that much more difficult to change the rules if things got out of hand.

Let's say Amazon was able to get this ridiculous idea off the ground (sorry for the pun) They've got a fleet of drones delivering millions of packages every day, and because there are so many, a couple are falling out of the sky and damaging property every week, and the fear is that it is only a matter of time before someone is killed. The FAA must act, but the congresspeople from the state of Washington, along with Amazon's lobbyists, will put the full court press down on the FAA to delay any rulemaking as long as possible.

You know, sort of like what is happening today with net neutrality. If they can drag their feet long enough, it will be "too late" to change things.

DougS Silver badge

Beware of dog

Maybe they'll be useful when within the sight of the operator to deliver packages the last 50 feet to yards with mean looking dogs.

Got a botnet? Thinking of using it to mine Bitcoin? Don't bother

DougS Silver badge

Re: Flawed

Except that other coins are next to worthless, so even if they can mine a lot of them it adds up to very little.

Google Glass gets 2GB of RAM. Think about this. Two gigs of RAM

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Re: Glassholes

You mean like how calling them Crapple and Samesung hurt their sales? Oh wait...

'Heartbleed-based BYOD hack' pwns insurance giant Aviva's iPhones

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If that's really the case

The Reg should be hearing from MobileIron's lawyers soon.

The article said it was related to Heartbleed, you are claiming it is not. What is your source for this?

DougS Silver badge


Its a MobileIron issue, if they haven't patched Heartbleed weeks after the exploit was made public. Possibly a Aviva issue, if a MobileIron patch has been available a while and their admins hadn't applied it yet.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Good to know

That wiping every employees mobile phone after extracting all the data from it represented no financial loss to the company and no risk to customers.

Where did TFA say they extracted any data? The hacker just wiped, and they state no information was compromised. Of course, they could be lying or unaware, but you can't claim otherwise without proof or at least saying "possibly".

Traffic lights, fridges and how they've all got it in for us

DougS Silver badge

Re: Need a "home controller"

How is it going to "bridge your connection inside"? If you're outside the TTL window, you can't even complete a TCP/IP handshake. I suppose if it accepted UDP commands it would be vulnerable, but there's a simple fix for that. Don't.

DougS Silver badge

Need a "home controller"

That has the security if you want to interface with these things from outside the home, so you don't need to worry about a million companies separately implementing security in a bunch of devices, some of which will have less computing power than an Apple II. There's no reason your fridge or light bulb needs to be directly accessible from the internet. None.

They should send out all their packets with a TTL of 1 (or maybe 3, to account for some basic in-home routing) so that it is impossible to connect with them from the outside.

Its not perfect, anything else on your home network like your computer, router or the home controller itself are still vulnerable, but at least you wouldn't have to care about the security of a light bulb in case someone finds an undocumented way to cause it to short and explode and thinks its funny to make 200 million light bulbs simultaneously go "pop" all around the world!

DISPLAY DESTRUCTION D'OH! Teardown cracks Surface Pro 3 screen

DougS Silver badge

Re: Planned obsolescence

If you want to buy tablets and smartphones for tens of thousands of dollars I'm sure they'd be happy to give you a 5-7 year warranty.

The cost of the warranty is built into the price of the car, and the cost of a longer warranty would be likewise built into the price of tablets and smartphones. Most people will buy the cheaper product and take the risk. Those who want a longer warranty/insurance can get it from places like SquareTrade.

Foxconn to take on 100 THOUSAND workers prior to iPhone 6 launch

DougS Silver badge

Not designed anything new?

It seems unlikely they haven't designed anything new, but designing != releasing for Apple. They aren't exactly known for their wide product portfolio, after all. It's been four years since the iPad, three years before that to the iPhone, six years before that to the iPod. If they release an iWatch (or whatever new product) within the next year, they'll be keeping to their (frustratingly, for analysts who like to have stuff to write about) slow pace of releasing new products only when they think they're ready.

Remember, they had the iPad ready before the iPhone was, but they needed to wait for technology to catch up to be able to offer what they wanted to offer at the price they wanted to offer it at (remember all the pre-iPad rumors that it would cost $1000 or more?)

Glastonbury debuts festival wide Wi-Fi network - fitted to COWS

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Re: Great...

They're not obsessing with what is going on outside the fence, they're telling their friends what is going on inside the fence so they'll be jealous that they aren't there too.

Higgs boson even more likely to actually be Higgs boson - boffins

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It is rather boring that the standard model keeps getting confirmed over and over and we never find any deviations.

Where is Douglas Adams when you need him to set this right?

Mozilla dev dangles Chromecast clone dongle

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Re: Strange description of Chromecast

How is there a difference in latency and quality simply using your phone as a middleman? Unless you have a really terribly slow and crappy phone, it can handle passing the 10Mb/sec or so that is required to stream top quality HD.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Strange description of Chromecast

What's the difference? Streaming through your mobile device or streaming from the server works the same. I suppose the latter is a bit more efficient in terms of your phone's battery life.

Personally I don't see the need to play stuff from my phone onto my TV. Perhaps a Youtube video now and then, but Netflix? Get real, every device you can connect to a TV (and even the TV itself, in the case of smart TVs) already does Netflix, it is getting to be a joke how many ways there are to play Netflix content. There is hardly a need for yet another one.

YouTube in shock indie music nuke: We all feel a little less worthy today

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So they need to preemptively supply a ContentId to Youtube for stuff they're planning to release in the future, in case it gets leaked early?

That puts the onus on the content provider to protect himself from Youtube. That's like if there was a smartphone app created tomorrow that could (somehow) open any car, the app maker telling people "hey, don't worry, you just need to provide us the VIN number and we'll block the app from opening you car".

Barack Obama was almost eaten by a robot giraffe

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Secret service

The agent in the background is mopping his brow and shifting nervously from side to side. I think he realizes that if the giraffe suddenly made a move to attack the president, there isn't much he could do to save him.

He's probably thinking "I thought being on the POTUS detail was going to be glamorous and prestigious, instead I'm watching him pet a giant robot giraffe with a British accent!"

Zombie patents raid TI's wallet for $US3 million

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Didn't see their name in the list. Either they're saving them for last, or even patent trolls are afraid of IBM's lawyers!

Russian gov to dump x86, bake own 64-bit ARM chips - reports

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Very difficult

The fact ARM licenses the design makes backdoors pretty difficult to hide, or impossible in the case of architectural licensees like Apple and Qualcomm (whom the NSA would have to separately bribe since they're doing their own designs from ARM's ISA specs)

But your idea that "ARM is far too transparent and employs hundreds of people - most of whom would be rabidly anti-NSA/GSHQ" is ridiculous. If you think Intel can be bribed, what about the thousands of people it employs, not all of whom live in the US (they do a lot of design work in Israel)

You're ignoring that other than a few top people, those working on a chip design work only on their own little section. The backdoor would be in a specific place, and would be fairly innocuous. A way to enter privileged mode with a simple instruction sequence that should be invalid - it would look like a mistake if found. Only need a few guys compromised to do that, and if a couple top guys are compromised and they're responsible for deciding who works on what, it wouldn't be that difficult.

I really can't imagine Intel would go along with this, no matter how much they were offered or how much their arms were twisted, because the fallout would be devastating. Even if no one learned it was deliberately planted, a bug in the CPU that allowed entering privileged mode from user mode could end in their bankruptcy - imagine a root exploit that is unpatchable, and any remote exploit that runs any code on a server would be a remote root exploit. The internet would quickly become useless, and only AMD, ARM and high end RISCs would be safe to use in servers. That couldn't be good for Intel's bottom line.

POTUS promises Trans Pacific Partnership text

DougS Silver badge

Why wait until mid November?

Planning to ask congress to vote on it before they leave for Christmas, so the public doesn't have time to digest it and put forth their objections before it is too late, perhaps?

Judge could bin $325m wage-fixing settlement in Silicon Valley

DougS Silver badge

@Dan Paul

So you really think these plaintiffs deserve tens or hundreds of millions of dollars each, so they never have to work again, because these companies did them wrong and caused them damages of maybe few hundred thousand at most? And the lawyers deserve $324 billion dollars? (at the normal 33%)

If lawsuits result in fines of more than actual damages, they need a mechanism where the excess "punitive" damages must be given to the government, or charity, or something, and not end up in the pockets of the plaintiffs or their lawyers. People shouldn't be able to win the lottery from a lawsuit, without even having to pay a dollar for the ticket!

EE in giant VoLTE-face as it tries voice calls over Wi-Fi... again

DougS Silver badge

Operators don't want compatibility

I don't think any operator's Wifi calling will be compatible with anyone else's, because the operator wants to have control. They don't like people using Skype (or Apple's when iOS 8 is available) because it will kill their income stream from roaming.

Somehow I bet Apple will manage to solve the emergency calling "dilemma" without resorting to blocking wifi calling when you're roaming! EE could if they wanted to, but of course they don't.

Elon Musk: Just watch me – I'll put HUMAN BOOTS on Mars by 2026

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@Steven Raith

I'm well up for electric sports cars - just give me 0-60 in under 8 seconds, 100mph being easily attainable and cruisable (for where it's legal, natch) and a range of 200 or more miles on a moderately spirited run, and I'll be happy with that, as long as it still handles like a good hot hatch/GT/sports car does today.


I agree. I'd want a sub 6 0-60, but acceleration is easy for an electric so that's not a problem. Cruising at 100 mph isn't particularly difficult, either. It is that 200 mile range of spirited driving that will be a huge problem. I think there are exactly zero electrics that would qualify today. Most can only manage their advertised range under specific circumstances - i.e. highway cruising, and at lower than normal speeds for the US.

I'd settle for 60 miles of spirited running and 120 miles of "real" driving (everything from stop and start around town, to 75-80 mph freeway cruising) but even that is not easy today.

Google, Microsoft to add remote KILL switch to phones

DougS Silver badge

Re: Re. kill switch

The parts stripping business would be mainly a concern for iPhones, since Apple sells a huge volume of the same model for several years, versus the bulk of the Android market which sells far lower volumes of far more models which are on the market for a much shorter time. You'd also have to be able to tell the cheap models from the expensive ones quickly by sight.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Re. kill switch

Even if a phone has some value as parts, this makes it a lot more difficult to resell and thus greatly reduces the incentive to thieves to steal. Other than paranoid worries it is hard to see a downside to this move.

Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac

DougS Silver badge

Re: Re. RAM upgrades

I think you fail to understand the tiny tolerances of modern DRAM. I'm sure you've noticed that the number of DIMMs per channel has dropped over the years, and with DDR4 it will drop again to exactly one DIMM per channel!

The reason is because as DRAM clocks faster the timing specs for the bus shrink and shrink. Creating your own socket to put memory chips in is asking for disaster, at least with a DIMM slot you've got JEDEC standards behind you and you can point to the DIMM maker if a DIMM that doesn't meet spec is inserted.

As for your "adding 32GB to a 8GB board", I guess you fail to understand that there have to be enough traces from the DIMM slots to the memory controller of the CPU, and the CPU has to have enough pins for the address. Each Intel chipset (and CPU, for more recent CPUs where the memory controller is on chip) has a specific maximum addressable memory limit, which is there because that's all the address lines there are. You can look at the specs for Intel chipsets/CPUs memory controllers that will tell you the maximum addressable memory, and that's it. It doesn't matter if denser DRAMs are available in the future.

Soldering DRAM chips increases the reliability (no loose connections) and increases the potential speed - not that Apple is taking advantage of this in the iMac, but in Mac laptops with the SSD chips soldered in they most certainly do. If you think you might want to upgrade down the road, you shouldn't be buying an all-in-one, most especially not an Apple all-in-one.

US Supremes UPHOLD troll-busting Alice v CLS Bank decision

DougS Silver badge

Re: This is not the ruling the press is making it out to be

I think you misunderstand how precedent works. There has to be clear language that can be used in very different cases. What does "adds nothing of substance" mean? When precedent is set, there are clear tests set forth in the Supreme Court ruling.

That's why the Roe v. Wade ruling, for instance, was such a landmark, because it specified specific times after pregnancy, rather than something arbitrary and open to interpretation such as discussing the viability of the fetus. Had they done that, it would be a moving target as different doctors might argue over when a fetus is viable outside the womb and as medical science advanced that might change.

The problem is that it is very hard to set specific standards for what should be patentable for software or business processes (other than "nothing") Can I patent swiping a credit card, as opposed to running it under one of those old school "back and forth" credit card things that make a copy of the card? Does that add something "of substance"?

What if I use RFID? What if a computer program replaces an ultra complex process that takes 100 people three months to accomplish and does it with 50x more accuracy? Where is the line? Unless you say "all" or "nothing", it is very hard to define, so I'm not surprised the ruling didn't draw a line, but the fact they didn't mean there's little for the lower courts to hang their hat on for future rulings.

DougS Silver badge

This is not the ruling the press is making it out to be

The ruling doesn't set any new precedents, and uses rather vague language in the decision, so it isn't something that can used by lower courts to limit patentability claims.

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