* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

You know what today's movies need? More drones

DougS Silver badge

Re: Permits...

Once people are no longer allowed to take the law into their own hands, you can't let people be truly "free" in the way you suggest, because it is too easy to dodge responsibility for one's actions.

Or do you really believe that many drone owners wouldn't just leg it if they lost control and the last thing they saw was it veering towards the big glass window on someone's house or a playground full of kids?

Android is a BURNING 'hellstew' of malware, cackles Apple's Cook

DougS Silver badge

@Joe Harrison - "I don't need a phone nanny"

Maybe you don't, but a lot of people do, or prefer it that way. If you don't, you have have Android and even root it if you want maximum freedom. If you want an iPhone but don't like the walls, you can jailbreak.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Really?

Apple's walled garden for one. A nasty app has to get past Apple, and if it does make it through Apple has the ability to remotely disable it from everyone's device if it is serious enough.

If someone makes a browser based exploit they have to get people to visit their site (same problem for Apple as for Android or Windows in that respect) but unlike Android, when Apple provides an iOS update to close the hole, it is quickly adopted by a large majority of iPhone owners.

Is Apple immune to malware? Of course not, only a foolish fanboy would even suggest such a thing. But it is a harder target than Android, and if attacked the lifetime of a serious exploit would be fairly short on iOS. On Android, the lifetime is measured in years, since there are many Android devices currently in use which will never see another update (if they have even seen one)

Sure, those with premium devices like a GS5 would see an update relatively quickly, but premium devices are a niche market on Android these days. The mass market is on the low end, and most of those devices never see a single update.

Broadcom: If no one buys our modem biz, we'll DITCH IT

DougS Silver badge

Sad

If you can't make money in a market with an addressable size of a billion units a year, something is wrong somewhere, which may account for the reason there are no takers.

Is this because the trend is towards wanting to integrated the baseband onto the SoC? AFAIK Qualcomm and NVidia are the only one selling such a SoC as of today. Are they eating the market alive, or is Broadcom seeing the writing on the wall and getting out while they (hope) they can find someone willing to buy it?

That Samsung or Apple aren't interested in something that presumably has a pretty low price approaching $0 (if they're willing to ditch it if there are no buyers) then either it isn't as attractive as they seem to think or any interested players have already made their own arrangements.

Google's Nexus devices get stealth Android update

DougS Silver badge

Could be a fix for some nasty zero day

Something they don't want to provide any information about at this time, to maximize the time before everyone finds out about it.

Supreme Court nixes idea of 'indirect' patent infringement

DougS Silver badge

Interesting ruling, but

I wonder if it might have unintended consequences. No matter how complex of a device one patents, if one leaves out some critical element to be done or programmed in by someone else, it can be copied freely.

In the case of copying the implementation of using private networks for content delivery we all say "good" because Akamai deserves to lose. But what if a drug company develops a pill that's a cure for leukemia, and someone copies it by producing a pill that contains all but a couple ingredients, so the instructions say "take one pill with four ounces of grape flavored low sugar Gatorade and two Bayer strawberry flavored chewable baby aspirin"

'GODZILLA WORLD' of the DRAGON CONSTELLATION - scientists

DougS Silver badge

Intelligent life on an ancient mega Earth

would be quite interesting, because it would probably be a very different world and thus very different life from ours. So different, in fact, that if they looked out and saw what they'd consider "new mini Earths" like ours, they might ignore us, considering us unable to support life as they know it. And they might be right.

New iOS 8 SDK: Come in, apps. Get cozy, sip wine, swap numbers

DougS Silver badge

SWYPE

Has already announced they'll be porting their keyboard to iOS.

Between that and larger models, it would answer the objections of some of those who choose Android over iOS for non-religious reasons.

OK, execs. You want Apple kit. And Windows Phone, too? Really?

DougS Silver badge

Re: @Arnaut @Doug

Yes, user training helps, but it goes hand in hand with technology. Users can be trained but use an insecure device, or users can be untrained but use a secure device, but it both cases security problems may result.

You can't rely only on technology, but it has to take up most of the slack from the fact people generally don't recall or care about the training approximately 30 seconds after it is over.

DougS Silver badge

@Arnaut the less

The problem Blackberry faces is in terms of perception. When a company makes a decision like this, the first question they ask is: will they be around in five years. Five years ago, the answer was obvious. There's a lot of doubt about whether that's true now though, regardless of whatever features may be getting added to BBM.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Not only android

So they should just throw up their hands and not care about security, because perfect security is impossible?

True that you can't trust the manufacturer of the phone, or your carrier. True that government certification is doesn't prove anything about the security of the device, only that the manufacturer has the patience to piss about for months filling out forms and answering objections. True that open source doesn't mean you can trust the security, as TruCrypt and Heartbleed have demonstrated.

So perhaps the best option is to pick the one you think has the best support. That used to be Blackberry, but this article is telling us people no longer believe that is the case. Between Microsoft, Apple and Android, well, say what you will about Apple's support (especially their nearly non-existent enterprise support) it is at least better than Android OEMs in that the phones are fully supported/updated for years after purchased. To wit: the five year old 3gs just had another update a few months ago, and if you are dumb enough to want to do so, Apple will even fix a broken 3gs for you! Between Apple and Microsoft? I suspect there may be some of the "we already depend on Microsoft way too much, no need to put more eggs in that basket" going on.

Are iPhones "secure", problem-free, or require no compromises of stuff you can get with other types? Of course not, but neither are the alternatives. So you choose your criteria and go from there. You are free to use different criteria than they did.

Kardashian's bottom plumps down on Instagram throne

DougS Silver badge

Put into perspective

There are over 200 million "active" Instagram users. So less than 1% liked that photo, and less than 2% of that 1% commented on it.

Hardly the end of civilization as we know it. Sure, there are more worthy photos on Instagram, but most people don't have enough followers that even with sharing would allow getting 2 million likes.

Though perhaps someone should take a photo of a particularly nauseating pile of garbage, ask all their friends to like and share it with the goal of getting more likes than fatass's wedding photo. There are surely a lot more people who dislike her than like her, so if enough of them get together they should be able to get a garbage pic to have 4 million likes.

Samsung in a TIZZY: OH PLEASE make apps for our Tizen Z mobe

DougS Silver badge

Re: Looks great, can it run Android apps?

The target market isn't people who are heavily invested in Android, but people who are buying their first smartphone, or previously owned a low end Android and have no real attachment to it.

Since there's no money to be made selling really cheap phones, Samsung doesn't want to sell Android phones to that market. Google is the only winner there. They want to take the ad revenue from them for themselves.

Microsoft's NEW OS now runs on HALF of ALL desktop PCs

DougS Silver badge

Re: Downvoters

I post in threads about Apple/Microsoft/Google all the time. Sometimes I get upvoted, sometimes I get downvoted. Sometimes I post something that's true, but I know will upset a contingent of fanboys, and see the inevitable downvotes. It doesn't bother me, and I still have plenty more upvotes than downvotes (not that it matters, but if it did I'd be safe)

If you're that worried about your upvotes exceeding your downvotes, make a good joke in an article that's just been posted and you'll have 50 upvotes, enough to write a half dozen uncomplimentary things about Apple, Samsung or Microsoft.

DougS Silver badge

iOS 48%

I'm not sure if the graphs they have are accurate as to their data. I see the same results when I filter for US or for China. I could see 48% iOS share in the US, but in China it would be down in the single digits.

Same thing if you look at browser data, it shows around 50% for IE even in the US. I could believe that's maybe the case worldwide, but clearly not in the US.

Either their web site is broken as far as presenting the results, or their methodology leaves a lot to be desired!

Your devices Heartbleeding - again

DougS Silver badge

@big_D

Of course using that line of reasoning every TCP/IP capable device from an unpatched original XP install to a device running a fully formally verified OS (if such a thing even existed) can be "spied upon", if whatever it connects to has been hacked, allowing the decrypted payload to be collected and examined.

DougS Silver badge

"possibly vulnerable"

The slideshow lists a whole range of stuff as "possibly" vulnerable. Just about anything is possibly vulnerable in the mind of a security researcher, as it is only possible for him to prove something is vulnerable, he can't prove the reverse.

Obviously it is in the interest of someone who makes their living doing security auditing/consulting/etc. to make heartbleed sound as bad as possible by casting doubt on everything out there. More demand, higher fees!

Google to plonk tentacles on 'unwired' world with $1bn launch of 180-satellite fleet

DougS Silver badge

Spectrum requirements

Has Google been acquiring worldwide satellite spectrum? Or acquiring a company that already holds it?

I suppose if they're targeting unserved/underserved areas like Africa, there should be plenty of unused spectrum, and they don't really care about getting spectrum in places like the US and EU where there is a lot less to be had.

Whether the African spectrum has been snapped up by companies just sitting on it, or requires a series of bribes is another matter, however. Presumably they've already taken care of this need, because if they haven't the price of available spectrum in such areas has gone up overnight, since the holders would now know Google may be interested in it.

DougS Silver badge

Re: LEO

LEO versus GSO is irrelevant for the amount of data bandwidth, being closer to Earth helps only the latency. The data bandwidth is determined by the radio bandwidth and the type of modulation/error correction used. The difference between LEO and GSO unfortunately doesn't help improve the modulation/error correction you can use, because the limiting factor is the last 10-20 miles passing through the atmosphere, not the 220 or 22,000 miles passing through vacuum.

TrueCrypt turmoil latest: Bruce Schneier reveals what he'll use instead

DougS Silver badge

@Kanhef

While there may be a way to independently audit non-proprietary code, the heartbleed debacle proves that open source isn't the cure all that some would like to believe.

HP reveals Apple-powered Android 'SlateBook'

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple powered

The Reg must be getting desperate for clicks or something, they've really gone off the deep end lately trying to insert Apple into every headline hoping to get people to read with interest and/or outrage.

Zuckerchan toss another $120 MEEELLION to schools in charity push

DougS Silver badge

Not to speak ill of philanthropy, but...

Seems self-serving in a way to target this at the greater San Francisco area where there has been a lot of class division recently over the effect all the dotcom millionaires from Google, Facebook, et al have been having on property values and the cost of living in the city. Trying to curry a bit of favor with them, perhaps?

There are a lot of places in the US with far greater need of aid for public education. Like across the bridge in Oakland, let alone places like Detroit. I'm sure all the Facebook employees who came too late to partake in the IPO party will appreciate that he's improving the public schools (many of the dot.com millionaires will send their kids to private schools)

Its his money, and he can do with it how he pleases, but he's not exactly getting the best bang for his buck versus the efforts of someone like Bill Gates. I may not admire his business practices, but he's got the right focus in his giving - results ahead of personal gain.

USA! USA! ... Aw, screw it. Motorola to close Texas smartphone plant

DougS Silver badge

WRONG

Apple managed to break in without any existing carrier relationships. Samsung had a far smaller market share when the first Galaxy was released, and they managed to get the required carrier relationships.

Blaming it on the carriers is just an excuse, and incorrect to boot. Want to know why Apple and Samsung did so much better? They're willing to advertise, because despite what the engineers at Google may think, you don't just build a great product and have people show up to buy it because its great. That may work for selling to the geeks who research and compare feature lists and benchmarks endlessly, but not for the far more numerous "average person" took smartphones from a niche product for geeks and PHBs only pre iPhone/Android to today's mass market success. Average people buy a Samsung over a Motorola because they see Samsung ads all the time.

Motorola had some initial success with their Droid products because they were heavily advertised, but when Google bought them the ads disappeared overnight, and they started bleeding market share as a result. Google let Samsung take over the market in the US. Their fault, not the carriers.

Why do you think McDonalds and Coca Cola advertise so much, when everyone has heard of them?

US citizens want stricter CO2 regulations by two to one – Yale poll

DougS Silver badge

Re: About time

US CO2 emissions peaked in 2005, lately down a bit over 10% from that peak. I wonder how Sean Lock's country has been doing by comparison?

Not saying the US couldn't be doing a lot more, but simply displacing some old dirty coal plants for natural gas (that evil fracking) has helped a measurable amount. If we got serious about using natural gas for transportation (for large vehicles like trucks, busses and trains) we could make a much bigger dent.

I'd rather see us legislate old polluting power plants out of existence (and make it easier to build new clear ones, whether natural gas or nuclear) than do the gigantic economics experiment known as cap and trade.

Facebook wants MORE EXPLICIT SHARING

DougS Silver badge

@Mike Taylor - recent stories doesn't work the way you think/hope it does

I used to use it, but found I was missing a lot of updates that I could only see using Facebook's default settings. Facebook filters your updates for you to reduce the volume, and apparently the filtering algorithm is more aggressive when you select recent stories.

For some people that may be fine as they want to see less - probably especially those with 1000+ friends - but when I compared the two I found I was missing stuff I would prefer not to miss, so I'm forced to use their annoying presentation. I'm sure I miss stuff anyway, because I don't always scroll down far enough to be certain I didn't miss something new, but at least I'm missing stuff due to my laziness rather than because Facebook decided I didn't need to see it.

IMHO, they've clearly gone out of their way to make recent items as non-useful as possible so as few people as possible will want to use it. I presume because when you have to scroll down through a lot stuff you've already seen, they have more room to insert ads.

If someone invented an alternate Facebook client that was able to scrape the web page to get your feed, reorder it into recent items, block all the ads/sponsored content and so on, I'd happily pay for it. I'm sure Facebook would do whatever they could to hamstring such an app since it would destroy their business model, but so long as they make it possible to access via the web, I don't see how they could do anything more than play a cat and mouse game requiring weekly updates of the app. I wouldn't feel a bit guilty about cutting out their advertising, considering how they've gone out of their way to make Facebook harder to use to make more money off me.

iDevice gizmo-snatcher Oleg... you must be taking the Pliss

DougS Silver badge

@Kevin Johnston

How do we know he wasn't set up to collect the ransom? If he was, Paypal will have quickly froze/closed the account once notified of the attack. Unless Paypal explicitly says they did not do this, outside observers probably can't tell the difference between "wasn't set up" and "was frozen".

If it was all the work of a do-gooder, why make the message sound like a ransom? Why not say "hey Apple, I tried to warn you, you didn't listen" and put egg in their face for not heeding his warning?

DougS Silver badge

Re: WTF?

I highly doubt this was a result of a brute force attack per account. Even if (I say if because I see no proof of the author's assertion) iCloud doesn't rate limit, Apple would surely notice the effects of brute force attacks against a number of accounts at once as the load on the servers handling it would be massively increased.

More likely Oleg used passwords lifted from one or more of the countless exploits of systems all over the world, some of which escape into the wild making it really easy for him. There are probably several such exploits of "millions" of accounts each week. He has a simple script that tries logging into iCloud with each email/password pair, knowing that some users will have the same password on iCloud that did on one of the exploited systems. When it gets in, it sets the ransom message.

The reason Australia was hit first was perhaps because the exploit list he used first was from some Australian ISP, bank, utility or government site.

IT'S ALIVE! ISEE-3 responding to commands

DougS Silver badge

This is really cool, but I wonder

If people can "commandeer" an old NASA spacecraft, what stops them from taking over others that NASA wants to remain in control of? Do they have any security beyond security through obscurity (i.e. knowing the exact carrier frequencies and so on)

I would be simultaneously upset and amused if a few of these guys with a 4chan bent decided they want an encore and managed to take the Mars Rover from NASA's control.

HP breaks ranks: Foresees data archiving on Flash

DougS Silver badge

Assuming the cost curves continue they way they have been...

Just because we've been getting x% more bits per dollar every year for the past couple decades with flash versus the smaller value of x for tape, doesn't mean it will continue that way long enough for flash to become cheaper.

Flash has to beat hard drives first, then we can worry about it besting tape and taking over as the "one true format". Considering that people keep trying to push it out of the way for new technologies like PCM and MRAM that have been 5-10 years away from replacing flash for past decade, it is hard to project far enough into the future to where flash is a preferred archive medium to tape.

SPB's mountaintop HQ menaced by wolves

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wow, lucky Spanish cattle.

Could be worse. In my neck of the woods predators capable of taking down a cow (let alone a bull) are practically non-existent (the occasional mountain lion may visit every few years) so while they don't have to worry about wolves or matadors, they do have to worry about the meat packing plant.

At least against a wolf or matador they have a chance to fight back a bit before they meet their end.

Hackers pose as hacks: Iranian crew uses Facebook to spy on US defence bods – report

DougS Silver badge

No.

The Peter Principle does not put "morons" in place as CEOs, Presidents and Generals. You completely misunderstand the Peter Principle if you think so.

However, I don't disagree with the idea that there are morons/twerps that are generals, CEOs and presidents. In fact, I'd substitute "especially in the military" for "even in the military". Not because the military necessarily attracts dumb people to OCS, but because the hierarchy is so rigid that the factors that result in promotion in the military are completely different from the factors that result in promotion in the business world.

The hoarder's dilemma: 'Why can't I throw anything away?'

DougS Silver badge

@Spartacus

Like most of us reading this, I have a collection of odds and ends, 99% of which I'll never use. From time to time I'll dispose of some of it I feel has crossed the 100% threshold, but damned if I don't always seem to find a totally unexpected need for something I just threw out weeks ago.

Not for the intended purpose of what I threw out, mind you, but some unintended purpose I realize I could have put it to if only I had realized it at the time.

Clingy fondleslab owners TORPEDO industry forecasts

DougS Silver badge

Re: Tablets are not for power users

More likely that it becomes no longer supported by the latest OS, and you only get point release updates for serious security issues. The 3gs is in this boat, but just got a security update recently, almost five years after it was released, and very likely there are more to come.

So pretty much a 5+ year PC style replacement cycle in other words, instead of the 24 month phone replacement cycle.

DougS Silver badge

Tablets are not for power users

So "outdated" tablets are just fine. My girlfriend is still happily using her original iPad, and there's absolutely no reason she should replace it when she's only using it for email and browsing.

Just look at the stats for how many computers there are out there still running Windows XP. The vast majority of them were sold with XP, and since they still work and still do what is required of them, the owner has not deemed it worth the cost/hassle of replacement. Many of those people will replace that XP machine with a tablet when the XP does fail (or gets fatally hacked) but that may be several years from now.

Meanwhile, those who are using tablets today may still be using the same tablet several years from now. If it keeps working, what's the reason to replace it? Faster CPU, better resolution? What difference does that really make for email and browsing?

Could a 'Zunewatch' be Microsoft's next hardware foray?

DougS Silver badge

Re: You misunderstand their policy

Apple uses open protocols everywhere, just not exclusively. Or have I missed where they're using a proprietary version of wifi, BT, SMS, IMAP, h.264, HTML5, and so on and so forth.

DougS Silver badge

You misunderstand their policy

If iOS already provided functionality that was capable of interfacing with Microsoft's watch, they might not allow a separate app that did the same thing. But since iOS probably won't (unless Microsoft's watch uses some open protocol and nothing beyond that) that won't be the case.

iOS includes Mail, Message and Safari, but there are other email, SMS and browser apps available, after all.

DougS Silver badge

"The Zunewatch, as it will most certainly not be named"

You must be new to the Reg, as the headlines are written to generate clicks, not to be accurate. Typically the articles will correct such misapprehensions, providing they are read before posting :)

Apple: Scrubbing may not yet have cleansed iThings of BLOOD

DougS Silver badge

"I hope SEC makes them bleed"

I hope you realize that despite the sensationalist troll-bait Reg headline, Apple is way out in front of most of the industry in even having completed third party audits to determine the ultimate source of the materials their suppliers use.

Go see if you can find guarantees from Samsung that all its smartphones, computers, TVs, etc. use only conflict-free materials. Here's what they say on their web site:

Samsung Electronics will continue its best efforts to bar the use of conflict minerals in all of its products – in collaboration with its suppliers and relevant domestic and international organizations.

Which sounds worse to you? "Best efforts" or "We've completed third party audits on all but four suppliers, who tell us they're conflict-free but it won't be proven until those audits are completed or we remove them from our supply chain".

For your next privacy panic, look no further than vending machines

DougS Silver badge

Of all the privacy violations to worry about

This is way down near the bottom of the list for me.

Intel unveils kit to speed evolution of digital driving

DougS Silver badge

What's the value proposition for x86 in a car?

Automakers have been primarily using PowerPC for the past 15 years or so for embedded use, but since it was a low margin market Intel had no interest in it. Now they're sniffing around thinking they can make some money in the future and trying to get themselves in, but I see no reason why GM, Ford, Toyota, VW et al should be interested in Intel's solutions. The ISA doesn't matter, there's no backward compatibility requirements, no need to run Windows applications.

As with mobile, Intel is far too late to the party, and will fail miserably because they can't compete on price which is what it comes down to in this market. They have to try to sell it to keep the shareholders happy, and this failure will be swept under the rug and ignored when they go on to the next hyped market a few years down the road. Maybe robotics.

Still watching DVDs? You're a planet-killing carbon hog!

DougS Silver badge

Re: diesel to natural gas

When methane is released into the atmosphere it is indeed a far worse GHG. That's why regulations require it to be captured or burnt off in places like landfills.

When burnt, it leaves CO2 behind - and quite a bit less CO2 per unit of energy than diesel (or gasoline, not that any of these large vehicles use that)

DougS Silver badge

They make some HUGE assumptions here

That people are making special trips for each DVD they watch, as opposed to picking them up at the Redbox conveniently located in/outside a place they'd be visiting anyway, and as opposed to getting Netflix to mail them to do, and as opposed to owning them.

The true number is nowhere near 200,000 household equivalents. If you want to attack CO2, you need to make big moves, not worry about stuff that's lost in the noise of the noise like DVDs. If the US switched trucks, busses and trains from diesel to natural gas, that would be a massive change. Not to mention the benefit to world stability of the Middle East playing a reduced role in the political calculations of the US.

I'm somewhat skeptical of global warming, but I still support switching the bulk transportation industry in the US to natural gas for the latter reason (and yeah, someone will whine about fracking, but the problems it may create are minor compared to the negative political consequences of the US having an oil dominant industry)

Google TOO WHITE and MALE, says HR boss, looking in mirror

DougS Silver badge

Re: HHHMMMNNN...

While I think Google does do some evil, I don't think this is an example of it. They point out they have a disproportionate (to the US population) representation of African Americans and Hispanics. Well, they also have a disproportionate (high) representation of Asians and Indians.

So if they need to find and hire more of those they have too few of, does that mean they need to hold back on hiring those they have too many of in an attempt to balance out their racial mix? What should they target, the whole of the US, California, or Silicon Valley?

It is one thing to actively try to recruit minorities, and fill roles in management and HR to (attempt to) insure colorblind/raceblind hiring and promotion practices. But you can't compensate for the fact there are a far smaller percentage of African Americans and Hispanics who are qualified for many of the positions at Google relative to other races. That's a structural/educational problem in the US, not something corporate America can fix by itself.

Germany says 'nein' to NSA hacking prosecution

DougS Silver badge

Re: As usual...

The major western powers all have their hands dirty on spying, German citizens would be unhappy with how cooperative their government likely is with the NSA and GCHQ, and I think it is pretty certain such cooperation goes both ways. While I'm sure the US made sure it got the better end of the deal, I imagine most Americans would think too much information is being shared with foreign governments.

The mutual threat of exposure of past cooperation is a good way to insure continued cooperation in the future. Sort of a MAD for spies. Germany was surely not happy about Merkel's phone being bugged, but I'll bet if they were able to bug Obama's phone and thought it wouldn't be detected they'd jump at the chance. If it came out the US would protest mightily, but nothing would be done because all sides have too much to lose if all their dirty laundry is aired.

They're probably all praying that Snowden's cache doesn't include more damning information to be released in the future.

I don't really care about governments spying on each other, they've been doing that since government was invented, I just have a problem with them collecting and trading information on me. Just because I have nothing to hide today doesn't mean I have nothing to fear tomorrow.

Come with me if you want a lid: Apple bags Terminator-esque LiquidMetal mobe patent

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple buys licence to "cool" thing, then wonders what to do with it...

Don't fool yourself that Android phones are any more durable than iPhones. Perhaps you should review that video that compared the iPhone 5 and GS3 in drop damage shortly after the 5's release? All phones will shatter if they land wrong, and I see plenty of people walking around with Android phones with damaged screens, just as there with iPhones.

I've dropped three different iPhones on concrete from shoulder height once each, and never had anything beyond a few scuffs (I don't use a case) My girlfriend dropped her 4S on concrete like a dozen times (talking on your phone while drinking coffee and walking your dog is asking for it) She scuffed the heck out of it but it never broke, but I finally convinced her to get a case (because the argument against talking on the phone while drinking coffee and walking the dog got nowhere ;))

There doesn't seem much point in Apple building capacity for sapphire screens and using a hard to work with material (based on how long they've been working on it without using it) like Liquid Metal if it doesn't confer some significant advantages. If not durability, what else could it be? I know haters will say it is all some Apple scam to get people to spend more money, but customers don't care what a phone is made of, they care about how the material affects things like durability, appearance, and so on.

I'm aware that sapphire is far from shatterproof, but presumably that's why having a bezel with elastic properties bonded to it would come in handy. It would act as a shock absorber and distribute the force of impact throughout the entire bezel and entire sapphire screen. Shattering of smartphone screens occurs because of a significant force in a small area, and can be avoided if you avoid that concentration of force. Its like the difference between hitting a car's side window with your fist and applying a much smaller force using something with a firm sharp point, which results in shattering.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple buys licence to "cool" thing, then wonders what to do with it...

The patent is from 2008, and that's about when Apple initiated their licensing deal, so they've known what they wanted to do with it for a long time.

Presumably the delay has been making the process work, or it wasn't reliable for large scale manufacturing, or it wasn't cheap enough. Maybe that's one of the reasons they're switching to sapphire. There's an issue making this work using glass, but not with sapphire, so a billion dollar investment to increase the world's sapphire production by an order of magnitude later, and presto!

The more I think about it, the more I believe this is about making a phone that is for all practical purposes indestructible under normal use. That would certainly be an advantage over the competition that would not be easy to replicate.

US DoJ to appeals court: Haha, no, seriously – Apple totally inflated ebook prices

DougS Silver badge

@AC

So it is OK for Amazon to violate the law so long as it only hurts companies that have violated the law in the past? And I guess you won't shed a tear if Microsoft or Google did something illegal that hurt Amazon, because now that Amazon is breaking the law it is OK?

Hopefully you can see where the idea of "they deserve it" will get us.

DougS Silver badge

Irony

That while this case is dragging on, Amazon is starting to exercise their near monopoly power in the book market by offering "take it or leave it" deals to small publishers (per the story last week)

Not that this justifies Apple and the big publishers breaking the law, but hopefully the FTC will take a look at Amazon's actions at some point to insure we have a level playing field.

Four-pronged ARM-based Mac rumor channels Rasputin

DougS Silver badge

@Goat Jam

I doubt Windows RT will still be around in a couple years. It has been an abject failure, what little success Surface can claim has been from the Pro model that runs x86.

Microsoft's 'CEO of no' on Xbox: NO SALE

DougS Silver badge

Comparing to the iPhone?

The iPhone has a small share of the overall mobile market (about 10%) but is more profitable than the rest of the mobile market combined.

I think it would be better compared with Windows Phone, which has a small share and loses money, since Microsoft has never turned a profit on Bing.

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