* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Apple now spends more on chips than top three PC makers combined

DougS Silver badge

Price is irrelevant, they buy those in tiny quantities. HP has always spent a fraction on Itanium CPUs of that they spend on x86 CPUs. Even when you factor in the price of Itanium that spending has never come close.

Apple-aligned firm opens sapphire glass factory. iPhone 6 rumours, DEPLOY

DougS Silver badge

Re: at this point I can only see one potential effect.

Gorilla Glass is made by Corning, not Samsung, so Apple's use of Gorilla Glass does not and never has lined Samsung's pockets.

DougS Silver badge

Re: at this point I can only see one potential effect.

Nobody wants plastic screens, because plastic scratches.

I'd rather have a scratchproof screen that shatters if I drop it at a funny angle than a shatterproof screen that scratches if I accidentally put coins in the pocket my phone is in, or drop my phone and it slides down the sidewalk a bit. I used to hate how scratched up my phones would be when I had some fairly high end Nokias - despite how careful I was. And somehow dust always seemed to get underneath the screen in a way that never happens with glass screens. When I bought a KRZR I thought the glass screen was its best feature!

I'm sure someone will claim that there is or will be a scratchproof plastic, but anyone who claims that is ignorant of materials science. The harder you make something (i.e. more scratch resistant) the stiffer it is (i.e. more prone to shattering) There's no free lunch, you have to pick your poison. Well, you can play games by using both in a laminate, as windshields do, but that doesn't stop the shattering, it just stops it from spreading as easily.

DougS Silver badge

Re: at this point I can only see one potential effect.

It is cost, but that is mostly controlled by manufacturing efficiency. There was nothing stopping someone from using it for a smartphone screen, but it needs to be produced in massive quantity to drive the price down. The problem is, the capacity won't be built until the demand is there. The smartphone OEMs might use it for one product, but they can't even guarantee how well that product will sell.

Enter Apple, who solves the problem by paying for the construction of a factory that will be used solely to serve their needs. Net result, Apple gets cheap (well cheapER) sapphire screens, but the situation is still the same for everyone else. Samsung of course has the money and the scale to do this as well if they wish, but the Motorolas and HTCs that don't know if their next big phone will be a hit or a flop are SOL.

Apple plans to waggle iNormous 4½-incher in fanbois' faces

DougS Silver badge

One will be the same size body, bigger screen

By eliminating the bezel, there's just enough to get to a 4.5" screen. With the same size body, those who like the current size won't be forced to stick with the 5S forever.

The other will be larger, probably an inch larger I'd bet to keep those with phablet envy happy.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Stupid

Who says the 4.5" phone would be bigger? There's room to shrink the bezel on the 5/5S and increase the screen by 10% without increasing the size of the phone at all.

Then they can have one that is genuinely larger for those who want something bigger.

Saying that being "consumer led" is a terrible thing is kind of ridiculous. Apple does lead the market in a lot of ways, but even Steve Jobs couldn't see everything - he was willing to admit he was wrong about the size of the iPad. If he were still around Apple

Samsung profits deflate after mobile division runs out of puff

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Re: Peak Samsung anyone?

No one has innovated in desktop computers for a long time, so you can hardly blame Apple for not innovating in a market that's been stagnant for a long time.

True innovation is creating something to fill a need people have that they didn't know they have. It might be a novel product, or the type of innovation Apple does, a novel way of designing/using a product that already exists. That's not something you can do on a schedule. No one complained that it took Apple six years after the release of the iPod to come out with their next major product. I guess the fact it took only three to come out with the next one beyond that has had people expecting Apple would maintain that schedule so the fact it will have been four years this spring makes people think they're somehow "late" innovating this time.

Apple developed iPad before the iPhone, but waited years to release it because it couldn't be built cost effectively enough or thin/light enough or with a long enough battery life using the technology available in 2004. Maybe the watch has been ready for a while but is waiting on technology to catch up, or on a manufacturing technology to be ready (i.e. Liquid Metal, sapphire glass)

Qualcomm gobbles Palm patents after rummaging around HP's backroom

DougS Silver badge

Who says they'll sue their customers?

They might use this to protect their customers who face lawsuits from other companies.

Remember the Motorola vs. Apple and Microsoft FRAND lawsuits? Those were initiated the following way:

1) Motorola has blanket FRAND license with Qualcomm that covers Qualcomm's customers, requiring a payment of 2.4% of what Qualcomm charges those customers

2) Motorola discontinues that license specifically and only for Apple and Microsoft, obligating those companies to seek FRAND licenses directly with Motorola

3) Motorola demands 2.4% of the entire sales price of the products they sell using Qualcomm chips (in this case, iPhone and XBox, thus an increase of well over 1000%)

4) Apple and Microsoft refuse to license under those terms

5) Motorola sues

The courts haven't allowed these suits to get all that far, but they're faring better in Europe than they have in the US. These patents would allow Qualcomm to fight back against these sort of attacks on their customers.

I have no idea whether that's what they're going to do, but I think "suing their own customers" is a highly unlikely result of Qualcomm's patent purchase, because, as you say, its a stupid thing to do.

Judge sighs at 'whack-a-mole' lawsuits as Apple deals blow to Samsung

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It has been going on longer than that. In the 90s every patent was "same thing as everyone has done before, but over a network". In the 80s every patent was "same thing as before, but having a computer do it".

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hang on a minute...

I haven't read the patent so I don't know exactly what they're claiming, but predictive text works totally differently on a touchscreen device than it does on a device with a physical keyboard (even a phone with a tiny physical keyboard like a Blackberry)

When you're typing on a keyboard, predictive text might take care of misspellings, but it won't handle "I aimed at the d but I hit the f" type errors because people on a keyboard don't do that, whether they're touch typers or hunt and peckers. But that is 95% of the errors on touchscreen keyboards, so the proximity of the letters you're aiming at is more important than having a dictionary of common misspellings like how predictive text worked on a PC.

I'm still amazed sometimes how when I'm trying to type in some nasty 12 letter word and miss all 12 letters, and get autocorrected to what I wanted - the biggest adjustment to learning to type on touchscreen devices was to just aim in the general direction of the letters you want and let the autocorrect happen. If you're patient (or lazy) sometimes you can type three words, two of which are autocorrected to the wrong thing, and then with the third word it figures out what you wanted and fixes the previous two. Never seen that on a PC, that's for sure.

I'm not saying Apple invented this technology on a touchscreen device (or even bought a company that invented it) but I don't even know if that's what they're claiming here. However, the usual braindead reflex of "evil Apple, they patented something that's been around for decades" is most certainly 100% incorrect in this case (not that this fact will stop me from getting downvotes from Apple haters) You might be able to point to a touchscreen device that did exactly what iOS does that came out years before (in fact I'd be surprised if someone doesn't come up with some examples in these comments tomorrow) but not decades before.

TiVo: Yes we've axed staff, but we're NOT packing in hardware biz

DougS Silver badge

Not much hardware design required for a DVR in 2014

There's no much hardware innovation left. New features come in the form of software, and next generation hardware is the same as the last, except for "more". More tuners, more CPU speed, more RAM, more disk. None of which is designed by Tivo. Maybe the next generation will swap the MPEG2/MPEG4 decoder for a MPEG2/MPEG4/HEVC decoder, but Tivo will buy that from someone like Broadcom, not design it themselves.

A lot of their new business is coming in terms of partnering with cable companies. Mine for instance has a new 'home server' product that's a Tivo. Tivo may not have been responsible for designing that hardware, just provided specs and the cable company had someone like Pace build it for them.

HOT AIR-FILLED Apple fanbois SHUNNED iPad 2 at Xmas

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Motorola Atrix

The Atrix had a swipe scanner on the side. By placing the fingerprint sensor in the home button you use to wake up the phone, it doesn't require anything extra to get the added security (which isn't close to foolproof, but is probably more resistant to snoopy spouses than a PIN that can be shoulder surfed by anyone who spends much time with you)

Obviously fingerprint scanners, or "smart" watches or whatever are not being invented. The innovation, if any, is in how it designed to be used, not the mere existence of it.

MPAA spots a Google Glass guy in cinema, calls HOMELAND SECURITY

DougS Silver badge

Re: Did he mount his Glass on a tripod?

Most of the pirate copies of movies were taken with small handheld video cameras. They aren't mounting those on a tripod. Modern cameras can mostly correct for shake, though you can still see a bit of that in these videos. One would assume Google Glass would have a similar capability to minimize "camera" shake.

I have no doubt that pirates would turn to this method of recording when Google Glass becomes more widespread, if theaters decided to ignore people wearing them. Supposedly some have equipment that can detect reflections off the CCDs used in modern digital gear, so they would equally detect the CCD in a handheld camera, a cell phone camera, and a Google Glass. If you have a recording device pointed at the screen, they can't tell if it is recording or not, but are within their rights to ask you to leave.

None of this justifies the type of response this guy is alleging. This had to be some sort of setup. Seems too convenient that the feds just happened to be hanging around this theater when the guy showed up. Either he's been there before someone wanted to make an example of him, or he's making up the story for his own reasons.

If you reckon Google will never tap into Nest's Wi-Fi thermostats, guess again

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Re: Advertising!

Google only knows where you are if you use Android. As an iPhone user, Apple (and AT&T and the NSA) may know where I am, but Google doesn't. If I used Windows Phone or Blackberry, the same would be true.

Google knows other things about me, such as some of what I might search for, which Apple and AT&T don't know.

Facebook knows yet other things about me that Apple and Google do not.

My ISP may know things about me that none of the others do.

If you can't/won't avoid sharing information, you can at least spread it around a bit so one company doesn't have the full picture. Someone using Google Fiber, Android, Google Maps, Google Chat, Google Mail, Google Search, Google+, Chrome, Nest, Google TV / Chromecast, a car running Android that has some sort of cellular data ability, and so on is pretty much at the mercy for whatever Google wants to do with all that data that they think makes them more money.

There may be some people left who are naive enough to think that's fine because they're dumb enough to still believe that "do no evil" mantra, but those of us who live in the real world aren't so trusting.

DougS Silver badge

Re: The law needs to put the consumer first (not the companies)

Makes a lot of sense and is very pro-consumer.

Thus has no chance of ever getting passed in the US (in Europe it may have a shot)

'We don't use UPS. If we did we'd have huge UPSs and tiny computers'

DougS Silver badge

What do UPSes have to do with this?

If the incoming water temperature is too high for their chillers to work, how does the presence or absence of UPSes help or hinder them?

Hey, G20. Please knock it off with the whole tax loophole thing - we're good guys, really

DougS Silver badge

Re: Is corporation tax relevant?

That's true to a point, but different countries have different rules for taxation of dividends. If one country says "no corporate income tax. we'll just tax their dividends" and another says "we'll charge corporate income tax but give favorable treatment to dividend income" (which is the situation in the US today) there is some room for corporations to organize themselves in a favorable way.

In practice, since the US taxes corporations on worldwide income (when the money is brought into the US) they can't take advantage of the better treatment for dividend income. But I'm sure you can see the different treatment of difference types of income around the world offers a lot of room for tax arbitrage.

Apple hires medical techies, raises spectre of iStuff slurping data direct from your bloodstream

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Re: Apple might actually get some money out of me...

You wouldn't have to turn on any wifi or whatever in your "iMedWatch" if you wanted to use it for diabetic monitoring but didn't need/want any other features.

4K-ing hell! Will your shiny new Ultra HD TV actually display HD telly?

DougS Silver badge

Here in the US

Directv has announced they'll be doing 4K programming, and rumor is that they're already testing it.

I doubt there will be all that much demand for it, other than PPV channels and the main HBO/Showtime type channels. The difference between SD (which was analog for most people) and HD was dramatic. The difference with 4K is minimal, if even noticeable at all, from normal viewing distances.

I had a few friends buy HDTVs and I found they weren't even set up to properly view in HD - i.e., their receivers that had been configured for their SDTV were never reconfigured so they were still displaying SD, or they were tuning to the SD channel numbers not the HD channels. If someone had a 4K TV that was only using an HD source, I doubt I'd notice visually. There will probably be a lot of people bragging about their new 4K TV even if they never watch a single true 4K source on it...

Now we're cookin' on gas: Google crafts sugar-alert contact lens for diabetics

DougS Silver badge

Re: Contact lens made of glass aren't very comfortable

Hmmmm, another article I read said it was sandwich between two thin layers of glass, claiming it was similar to the gas permeable type lenses.

DougS Silver badge

Contact lens made of glass aren't very comfortable

Nor can they be worn 24x7 like extended wear contacts made of plastic since they don't allow enough oxygen to the cornea.

Maybe a future version will allow making it out of a polymer like 99% of contact lenses are today, but this version at least has limitations that would only be tolerated by people with very severe forms of diabetes. It is more convenient than having a service dog that alerts when your blood sugar is low (like one diabetic I know)

Obama reveals tiny NSA reforms ... aka reforming your view of the NSA

DougS Silver badge

Re: "Having faced down the totalitarian dangers of fascism and communism"

If it weren't for the involvement of the US in WW II, most of Europe might be speaking German today, so fair to see the US helped face down fascism in the form of Nazi Germany.

The US also faced down communism to the point where there's no longer a USSR. Well, if you overlook the fact that highly ranked KGB spy is now Russia's defacto dictator....does converting the most powerful communist country into the most powerful fascist country count as a win, a loss or a tie?

Apple coughs up 7 hours of profit to refund kids' $32.5m app spend spree

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Re: They provided FULL refunds

30% is the same that Google charges, so how is Apple being more greedy than Google here?

Do you really think that Apple added the 15 minute window not for convenience of customers (so they don't have to keep typing in their password) but so that kids would buy a lot of stuff without their parents knowing? Yeah great scheme, bad publicity all for increasing your profit by 0.000001%!

DougS Silver badge

Re: They provided FULL refunds

A fine based on what, your hatred of Apple?

They didn't do anything criminal, or even unethical. At most they were careless in underestimating the ingenuity of kids, the technological cluelessness of parents and the greed of developers.

DougS Silver badge

They provided FULL refunds

So hard to complain about the amount of money, since those are the only people who took part in the settlement. They're also changing the way they do things to make it harder for this to happen again.

It is hard to see a better outcome than this. Usually in such settlements the lawyers end up getting most of it for their "work", and the consumers involved get a check so small it is hardly worth the bother of cashing it.

MANIC MINERS: Ten Bitcoin generating machines

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@Andy Kay

I have some GPU's setup mining alt-coins. Each day I trade my mined coins for BTC. Once a whole BTC is accumulated, and if the market is good ($800+ per BTC), I sell. I then withdraw that money into a bank account.

But please go ahead and tell me how this isn't actually 'earning £xxx'...


How much is your electricity cost to power those GPUs that would otherwise be idle?

Canada says Google broke law by snooping health info to serve ads

DougS Silver badge

Why would you search for private health related information with GOOGLE?

There are other search engines. You could also pollute the results by searching for not only sleep apnea, but also erectile dysfunction and ectopic pregnancy. That ought to confuse their algorithms!

Fine! We'll keep updating WinXP's malware sniffer after April, says Microsoft

DougS Silver badge

Re: Will XP really "never be updated"?

Big difference between XP and NT4 is that consumers are still running XP in large numbers. Fixes for NT4 didn't appear on the net because businesses aren't going to download fixes that way.

There are sites that build "service packs" out of Windows updates so you don't have to download them separately, which a lot of people trust because they haven't had reason not to trust. I'd be willing to bet they get hold of the XP fixes, at least the ones for critical issues like remote exploits or "visit an evil URL and your PC is owned" type stuff.

No one is going to worry all that much about getting patches that include the latest version of the time zone data so they won't all be available but the most critical ones will be.

DougS Silver badge

Will XP really "never be updated"?

Isn't Microsoft providing corporations willing to pay $200/license or something crazy like that extra extended support for a few more years? If someone makes those updates available out on the web, is Microsoft really going to want to suffer the bad publicity that would result from them trying to issue takedown notices to stop them from being distributed?

I don't think they'll have the balls to do so, so XP will continue to be viable for a few more years, until no one is paying for these updates any longer.

Techies CAN sue Google, Apple, Intel et al accused of wage-strangling pact

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That's the beauty of this

Since there's no way to accurately calculate the damages, the sky's the limit as far as the lawyers are concerned, and the companies involved have the deepest pockets around.

The lawyers are probably already busy perusing Gulfstream catalogs during their lunch hour, and hiring the sort of real estate agents that deal with the listing and sale and private islands.

Google's Nest gobble: Soon ALL your HOME are BELONG to US

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How is Google not able to build this "platform" itself

Nest hasn't built anything that Google couldn't easily replicate themselves. The only feasible reason they weren't willing to wait the year (at most) it would take them to build an identical platform themselves (using a mere 1% of that money, or $32 million, would be major overkill for this effort) is because they felt they couldn't afford to wait that year.

That implies they believe someone else (maybe Apple, maybe companies like Honeywell getting together an industry effort) will be making a big splash in 2014 and Google had to pay through the nose to catch up. People have suggested patents, but with few products Nest can have few patents, unless they were working on something totally outside of the market they'd previously been operating in.

Even these seem like flimsy reasoning, because people aren't going to replace their thermostats, smoke alarms, door locks, and whatnot in any large numbers no matter how cool of products someone comes out with.

If I was a Google shareholder, I'd be pretty unhappy now. This is why shareholders want to see companies paying dividends rather than holding onto large amounts of cash. Having the cash available makes it easier to make stupid decisions like this.

Boffins: Antarctic glacier in irreversible decline, will raise sea levels by 1cm

DougS Silver badge


Right now, the collapse (or at least the radical transformation, and not in a positive way) of human civilization in a few hundred years is tentatively on the table, I believe.

COLLAPSE OF HUMAN CIVILIZATION? Due to global warming? This is the kind of ridiculous, mindless, stupid, ill-informed utter bullshit that deniers can easily point to to claim the alarmists are being, well, alarmists.

Even if Greenland and Antarctica entirely melted human civilization will not collapse. Anyone who argues it would is assuming a lot of things about politics and human psychology well beyond the anything that climate science any business speculating on. If you want to make logical leaps that large, I could equally argue that utterly destroying Earth's environment to the point that all life would be ended in 500 years is a good thing, because it'll force us to colonize space and not have "all our eggs in one basket" as it were, in case a 10 mile wide asteroid with Earth's name on it came knocking.

DougS Silver badge

Appeal to authority

If the peers doing the reviewing for publishing take global warming as a fact, they aren't any more likely to publish articles that counter it than journals in the field of primates are likely to publish articles on Bigfoot.

I'm not trying to equate the two, but I'm hoping you see the flaw in your argument. AGW may be fact. Probably is fact. But establishing whether it is indeed IS fact can't be done by counting journal articles. It is done by having those papers present testable hypothesis and seeing how the predictions made from those hypothesis come out.

I know it is tedious to actually DO SCIENCE rather than run computer simulations based on backtesting using possibly questionable historic data and tell everyone you know what the world is going to look like in 2050 or 2100, but that's how science works. There are no shortcuts.

The problem with some of the more rabid AGW believers is that they say the consequences of AGW are so severe (if you take the more dire predictions) that we can't wait around to see if they're right, we have to immediately take all possible measures to reduce further warming. And if we do take all those measures, and global warming doesn't happen, we'll be told it would have happened had we not acted and they'll still think they were right.

If global cooling happened over the next decade they'd just retool their models and find a reason why there was a brief spurt of cooling but promise that global warming will redouble from that point on. Because if there's no global warming, then few people are interested in giving grants to climate scientists and they go back to having small offices in the basement next to the Egyptologists.

Rap for KitKat in crap app wrap trap flap: Android 4.4 is 'meant to work like that'

DougS Silver badge

Title is right up there with the all time Reg classics

I don't suppose you guys keep a scoreboard of the best titles of all time, based on some proprietary formula to determine cleverness by counting rhymes & alliterations, with bonus points for innuendo?

The only thing keeping this out of the all time top ten was the subtitle's complete and utter matter-of-factness. Surely there was some gold awaiting with the use of words such as Android, deployed, and fanboied?

Samsung targets South Korean army recruits

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Its good to be by far the biggest company in your country

Gaining the power to draft employees directly out of the army. Clever, very clever.

Your move, Apple.

Two websites you should show your boss if you want to be paid in Bitcoin

DougS Silver badge

Re: I am starting to get the feeling...

I guess you've missed out on all the ones that talk about "cryptocurrency" or the pre-Cyberpunk Sci Fi that talks about "credits".

DougS Silver badge

Re: Savvy?

No doubt a lot of the transactions happening in bitcoins are illegally bypassing taxation so that is equivalent to a big profit even if bitcoin prices were fixed at a certain amount in local currency.

Apple files foul-up-fixing patent for fumbling slab-fondling flubbers

DougS Silver badge

Not unless the train is going over really bumpy tracks

It isn't going to go off speed of travel, but on changes in acceleration. If you walk you have a bit less ability to touch where you want, if you're jogging even less. Not because you're faster, but because the average person doesn't walk/jog on wheels.

DougS Silver badge

NOT copied from Android - look at the filing date

Patent was filed in 2007, before the first Android phone even existed!

Run for the tills! Malware infected Target registers, slurped 40m bank cards

DougS Silver badge

Who said the POS system has internet access?

I'm willing to bet it doesn't. I'll bet social engineering was an important part of this attack.

The attackers could have mailed a USB stick to Target stores all over the country with a fake return address showing Target corporate headquarters, telling them it needed to be loaded into the POS server for PCI compliance. It only takes one person to blindly follow that instruction to get the malware onto Target's intranet.

Either that, or they use wireless somewhere and don't realize how easy it is to hack so-called "secure" wireless, and someone broke in from a parking lot.

Clearly the POS systems was only a step in getting the malware to their main payment processing systems, otherwise people who ordered online wouldn't have had their information compromised.

Apple-hungry thieves defy sinking New York City crime stats

DougS Silver badge

Interesting that the police are trying to push "registration" instead of Activation Lock

I wonder what this registration entails. Whatever it is, I'll bet it makes it easier for them to link a phone to a person.

Activation Lock requires 'Find My iPhone' be enabled, but the tracking this just makes it easier for the phone's owner (or anyone else with the password to his Apple account) to track the whereabouts of the phone using information that exists for all phones, not just iPhones. That is, information on the phone's whereabouts that is available by virtue of the phone being powered on and connected to a cell tower (or having a network connection and GPS information)

If registration requires submitting proof of identity etc. so they can link your phone to you, that gives them information about who owns what phone that they can't get for people using PAYG SIMs which don't provide any link between a SIM and the phone.

Seems like the NYPD is taking advantage of this "crime wave" to increase their tracking of the citizens. They don't have access to the NSA's database, so they're trying to replicate it by tricking people who are afraid of crime into giving them their personal information voluntarily! Don't want to let them know Apple provides a better way, because that doesn't help the NYPD track people...

Knox vuln is Android not us, says Samsung

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Re: Just because it is MiTM doesn't mean this isn't a serious issue

I wasn't talking about intelligence agencies - they probably have the means to attack Knox directly, as well as many other options for getting at the information "protected by it".

I was talking about your common cyber criminal, who is hoping to get your bank or credit card details, or other sensitive information like SS number. He hasn't compromised any networks, and isn't likely to have the means nor the desire to do so. He just wants to find a weakness in Android and use it to grab what he can. If people using Knox are less likely to worry about this thinking Knox protects them, they're the perfect victims for this attacker.

DougS Silver badge

Just because it is MiTM doesn't mean this isn't a serious issue

MiTM attacks typically require a compromise of a network. This is a higher level attack that takes more knowledge. Simply getting malware onto a device isn't that high of a bar, and can be done by people with a fairly low level of knowledge and/or simple social engineering (get them to visit a website, download an app or maybe even open an email with a nasty payload)

In fact, the whole point of Knox is supposed to be that if you use it, you don't have to worry about malware getting on your phone because Knox protects you against that malware. So much that claimed protection! Samsung may be correct that this is an Android problem and not a Knox problem, but unless they can prevent this type of MiTM attack against Knox, it is essentially useless for the purpose for which it was designed.

Lenovo: It could be YEARS before a US smartphone launch

DougS Silver badge

Re: So they're planning to wait until the market shares have solidified?


Lenovo is a fairly trusted name in the enterprise world - all those companies that used to buy IBM Thinkpads now buy them from Lenovo. Coming out with me-too tablets and smartphones gives them a leg up on everyone but Samsung and Apple, because they have better name recognition and association with quality in people's minds than companies like HTC.

Your argument sounds like "we totally missed the boat on smartphones and tablets, so we should just ignore that market altogether and hope we're smart enough to catch the next big thing". I wonder if there were companies that thought that way about the PC market....companies that have been dead and buried since the 90s...

DougS Silver badge

So they're planning to wait until the market shares have solidified?

Planning to wait until there are no killer features left, just incremental updates? (too late - that's already happened) Planning to wait until the Lenovo name is even more associated with yesterday's technology in the minds of many people (i.e. associated with PCs)

Yeah, that seems like a good plan.

Faster, more private, easier to read: My 2014 browser wishlist

DougS Silver badge

Memory bloat

That's what I'd like to see fixed. Firefox uses about 40MB per tab for me. Google Chrome about the same.

I can't figure out how these browsers can use so many resources for a page that contains only a few MB at most.

It is ridiculous that on a 8GB machine I sometimes need to quit and restart Firefox because I'm running out! Even worse that doing so causes my free memory to go from a few hundred MB to several GB!

Apple, Samsung get a room to settle patent war. Forgive us if we don't hold our breath

DougS Silver badge

Re: I wonder if Google are rergetting releasing Android under ASL?

Sure you COULD use the same source code if you used a bunch of macros and wrapper functions, but why would anyone do that in the real world?

Apple sues over things that define a product's look and feel, not features themselves. If they had a notification center and it was accessed by flipping the phone over and back upright again quickly (to take a stupid example) they'd sue over that method of accessing it, not the existence of a notification center itself - unless their notification center layout and iconography were copied.

So they sue over a particular way of letting the user know they've reached the end of a scrolling area, not the entire notion OF notifying the user they've reached the end of a scrolling area. Because, and think about it, desktop software never notified you - it just stops scrolling when it gets to the end (whether you're scrolling with the space bar, scroll bar or scroll wheel) You don't need to be notified if there's a scroll bar, and even many previous touchscreen devices included a scrollbar.

They had to figure out a way of providing feedback that you reached the end of the scrolling area since there's no scrollbar to look at, so you can tell the difference between "end of scrolling area" and "my swipe down to scroll isn't registering right away for some reason". Android should have done with crumpling the page and springing back, it would have been different and IMHO far superior visually as notification of what is happening. The GPU in the first iPhone wasn't powerful enough to do that, however.

Is your IT department too tough on users?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Just discussed this topic at lunch today

Well, I don't know if that's true. There certainly haven't been HR departments for hundreds of years. Despite their relative newness they have more rules than any other department out there! Though I suppose you were talking about rules the department follows, rather than rules a department sets for others...

Cicada 3301: The web's toughest and most creepy crypto-puzzle is BACK

DougS Silver badge

Useless as a "job interview"

What if I followed along what the others posted about their work, even though I was unable to solve anything on my own, and then the very last puzzle happened to be something that hit my field of specialty (for example, for certain people it might be a literary reference so obscure it will never be found on Google) No one person is capable of solving this, and the person who was first to finish may have had little or nothing to do with the rest of the solution. What's the point, other than to prove they have a lot of time on their hands to keep up to date on the puzzle so they're in the right place at the right time to be the first to the end?

I think everyone gets the "someone beat you to it" message, and some Internet troll who is a slightly more malicious version of the guy who writes xkcd gets a good laugh watching so many people putting effort into solving his puzzle.

Do we even know the entire path is laid out prior to the first message? So long as he stays a few steps ahead the "perpetrator" could make this game last as long as he wants. When he gets bored he makes the next clue point to the "someone beat you to it" website.

Judge orders Yelp.com to unmask anonymous critics who tore into biz

DougS Silver badge

Amazon reviews are worthless

Amazon reviews have long been useless. In fact, worse than useless. You did see the "reviews" on the $40,000 TV set that none of the reviewers actually bought, right? That was done in jest, but even after it was spread far and wide on the Internet, Amazon did nothing to remove the bogus reviews. How hard would it be for them to limit the reviews to people who actually bought the product from Amazon? Sheesh!

The only people I trust for reviews are people I know. Facebook may suck in a lot ways, but at least if I'm considering a product that others I know may have bought I can post and get information I can trust from people quickly and easily. You can't trust any site on the Internet anyone has ever heard of because the spammers/SEOs/shills long ago made the positive reviews worthless. If it is a product that has fanboy fervor (i.e. iPhone, Galaxy S series, Playstation, Xbox) you can't trust the negative reviews, either.

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