* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Android, Chromebooks storm channel as Windows PC sales go flat

DougS Silver badge

Re: I don't get it

Price.

Plus I think by mentioning "Unix based" you're assuming that typical buyers would care about that. They won't. They don't even know what Unix is.

Price is also why 98% of Chromebook sales happen. Chromebooks are basically a warmed over Netbook, from back before Microsoft stuck their nose in the Netbook world.

Snowden to warn Brits on Xmas telly: Your children will NEVER have privacy

DougS Silver badge

Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

If Snapchat announced that everything those under 18 send will automatically be forwarded to their parents, I think you'd find today's youth do care about privacy.

Note-jotting and mapapp firms VANISH into Apple's MAW

DougS Silver badge

Why is developing your own tech somehow superior?

Would Where 2's little web site attract any traffic if Google hadn't bought them out and called it Google Maps? Would Fingerworks' technology be in over a half billion devices if they hadn't been acquired by Apple?

When a big company buys a little company to gain access to their tech, there's always a risk that it "vanishes into the maw", but the reason Apple and Google buy companies is because they want to develop that technology or integrate it into their products in a way that would be very unlikely to happen otherwise.

It isn't as if they're the conspiracy theorist's modern version of big oil buying up carburetors that get 100 mpg to keep them out of the hands of the public.

Apple won't bag HUMUNGOUS 4G deal... 'cos China HATES plastic iPhone 5C – analyst

DougS Silver badge

@Anon 22:24

The deal was announced on the 23rd in China, you were off by one day.

Sorry, you hit that way too close to become an analyst!

DougS Silver badge

Blackberry??

How is a deal with a dying company that will have sub-1% market share in a year if current trends continue going to change the power balance compared with Foxconn's existing relationship with Apple, who has nearly 10% of the worldwide mobile market share by volume, and over a third by revenue?

Apple would like to have a deal, and the analysts think they need a deal (because: growth) but I don't think they need a deal. Neither does China Mobile, maybe if they think Apple is too difficult to deal with they can let their customers buy iPhones for full price to use on their network. There are already 20 to 30 million iPhones running at Edge speeds that were paid full price. I can't imagine a new model capable of TD-LTE speeds is going to be anything but a success, just not as big of a success as it would be if they had a deal and China Mobile offered subsidies and displayed the iPhone in their stores.

Apple loses some sales due to lack of carrier promotion, China Mobile loses some lock-in on their customers not getting them on a subsidy plan, so it isn't like they don't both have a downside if there's no agreement.

DougS Silver badge

The only reason I can see that the analyst might be right

Is if Apple & China Mobile had been discussing a deal with x number of iPhone 5C sales and y number of iPhone 5S sales guaranteed (similar to how some other Apple/carrier deals have reportedly been structured)

If the 5C is selling less than expected, they might worry they'd have trouble selling enough. One would think however, if that's the case, that Apple would be totally fine with saying that excess 5S sales can substitute for lacking 5C sales. They would after all make more money that way.

I suspect though it is just another analyst making up stuff to explain why he was wrong when he and everyone else said it was a "done deal" last week!

There are reportedly some 25 million iPhones on China Mobile's network already - running at EDGE speeds! - so there is clearly a segment of China Mobile customers willing to pay full price for an iPhone. Maybe Apple doesn't need the deal. So long as they sell a model capable of TD-LTE China Mobile's customers can buy it if they want it. I'm sure they'd sell more of them if China Mobile promoted them itself and subsidized them, but if Apple has to give up too much it isn't worth it. Not so much for what they'd have to give up to China Mobile, but what they might have to give up to other carriers who will want a similar deal.

DJANGO UNCHAINED: Don't let 'preview' apps put you off Fedora 20

DougS Silver badge

I hope Fedora/Redhat pays attention to how many people use GNOME vs Cinnamon

I hope anyone who installs Cinnamon makes sure to send in that installation report!

When they see how few people want to use GNOME any more, they'll finally drop it as the default desktop and the GNOME project leadership might be replaced by people who aren't absolute drooling morons.

How much did NSA pay to put a backdoor in RSA crypto? Try $10m – report

DougS Silver badge

Back in the 70s

IBM developed DES. The NSA recommended some changes which IBM implemented - changes to the S boxes and SHORTENING of the key length. For 15 years there was speculation that the NSA had recommended those changes to weaken it. When 'differential cryptanalysis' was publicly discovered, it was found that the NSA's changes had strengthed DES significantly versus IBM's original implementation - even despite the smaller key length.

Specifically the S box changes, had that not been made, would have left it very vulnerable to that type of attack. Thus demonstrating, that at that time at least, that the NSA was at least 15 years ahead of the state of the art in the public sphere. With all the funding they've received in the past decade, they're probably even further ahead now.

Given that the NSA had previously recommended changes that helped, without explaining why, maybe RSA thought (or wanted to believe) that this was the same sort of deal....though maybe the $10 million should have tipped them off that something was fishy.

I wonder if any RSA senior execs happened to get a bonus that year due to higher "profit" thanks to that $10 million payment. If that was the case, and I was an EMC shareholder, I'd be looking for a lawyer to file a class action lawsuit against those senior exec(s). Yeah, I know the lawyers are really the only winners in such lawsuits, but I'd be doing it more to take away the ill gotten gains of the senior exec(s) and make their lives hell than to try to cash in personally. Serve as a deterrent to the execs of other companies when faced with a similar decision to breach fiduciary duty in exchange for personal gain!

Cyanogen grabs $23m, will ship mod-installed N1 smartmobe on Xmas Eve

DougS Silver badge

Embrace and extend?

Google isn't Microsoft, but don't believe they're not evil. Cyanogenmod is a threat to their Android business model, because makes it easier for OEMs/carriers/users to rid themselves of the Google layered software that helps Google make money off Android. You didn't think they gave Android away for free out of the goodness of their heart, did you?

Mozilla: Native code? No, it's JavaScript, only it's BLAZING FAST

DougS Silver badge

Imagine how much effort has been spend trying to improve Javascript performance

By Mozilla, by Google, by Apple, by Microsoft. Imagine how much other stuff in the browser could have been improved if they'd make the correct decision to ditch Javascript a decade ago and use something that didn't require 50,000 man years of programmer effort to make suck less?

Andrew Fentem: Why I went to quango to fund pre-iPhone touch tech

DougS Silver badge

First to file vs first to invent patents

At the time he was doing this and Fingerworks was doing their thing, the US was under a "first to invent" patent system, the only one left in the world, so whatever he invented that was later covered by one of Apple's Fingerworks patents would make the overlapping claims in Fingerworks' patents invalid.

This past March, the US changed to a "first to file" system so it was in sync with the rest of the world. Had that been in place back then, Samsung would not have been able to use Fentem to defend against Apple's claims, since Apple (via Fingerworks) was first to file since Fentem never did.

Basically Samsung can use him to defend against Apple only in the US. In the rest of the world he doesn't help their case at all.

So someone explain to me why "first to file" is such a great idea that the US had to switch to it, instead of the rest of the world switching to "first to invent"? Granted, you need more documentation to prove you really did invent first, but in cases like this one where that is available, the fact he didn't/couldn't file shouldn't allow someone else to patent his invention as their own, even if (as was true for Fingerworks/Apple) they had no idea what he had done and invented it independently a couple years later.

Picture this: Data-wrangling boffins say they have made JPEGs OBSOLETE

DougS Silver badge

Who cares about saving space over jpeg?

Even if it could store megapixel images in a single byte it would never displace jpeg, because saving space or bandwidth for images is a problem that no longer exists in today's world. The inevitable patents, and even if made freely available, inevitable patent trolls who will claim patents on various things it does, make switching from jpeg to something new not worth whatever storage/bandwidth could be saved.

Now if it has significant benefits over HEVC for video (i.e. at least 2x improvement at the same quality) then I could see it having a chance of gaining traction there. The key would be to figure how to get it built into hardware, because without hardware support a video codec has no chance.

Fanbois, prepare to lose your sh*t as BRUSSELS KILLS IPHONE dock

DougS Silver badge

What exactly are these regulations trying to accomplish?

What difference would it make if you have a charger that takes a cable with standard USB port on end and micro USB on the other, versus the same thing except it has a different connector on the end? Are they really concerned about CABLES going bad? Because they rarely do, it is the part you plug in that goes bad and contributes far more to "e-waste".

Besides, mandating micro-USB by 2017 is TOTALLY MORONIC because it is being replaced by a new connector (reversible like Lightning) in a year. They might as well mandate PCs sold in 2017 have a PS/2 port while they're at it.

Proposed California law demands anti-theft 'kill switch' in all smartphones

DougS Silver badge

Pretty sure Android doesn't implement a kill switch at all, so I'm not sure what this "helper app" you're talking about has to do with this story. There was a story last month about carriers not wanting Samsung to implement a kill switch on its phones, which implies they don't have one now.

That's the nice thing about Apple's control freakery, it prevents carrier control freakery!

OMG, like, TOTES AMAZEBALLS: Facebook made me fall into SHARK INFESTED SEAS

DougS Silver badge
Linux

Re: Says something, at least,

The article says police believe she didn't know how to swim, but say she stayed afloat for 20 minutes. I'm skeptical.

I think she looked like she didn't know how to swim because she was swimming with only one arm, with the other she was holding the phone and posting the following status update: "OMG I just walked off the pier and I'm waiting to be fished out! I hope my rescuer is cute LOL!"

Tux icon, because like a penguin it appears she is as graceful in the water as she is ungainly on land!

NSA spies should clean up their act, says Prez Obama-picked panel

DougS Silver badge

To be honest, I'm not really concerned over spying on friendly governments. They've been doing that to each other since long before the US existed. Let them play their games of statecraft and spy on each other, and leave us regular folks alone!

HP multiplies Meg Whitman's salary by 1.5 MEELLION

DougS Silver badge

It isn't news when they do it once. If they do it again I'll be impressed.

Drawers full of different chargers? The IEC has a one-plug-to-rule-them-all

DougS Silver badge

This is just as dumb of an idea as the micro USB "standard"

Which is about to be made obsolete by the new reversible micro USB connector that isn't compatible.

Why don't they specify that the POWER BRICK must have a standard full sized USB output, and let people use whatever connector they want on their devices? Isn't that what they're worried about as far as e-waste?

Besides, phones aren't the biggest source of e-waste. It is all those devices like wireless routers, cable/DSL modems, set top boxes etc. that have a brick with the cord built in, that uses one of 5v/6v/9v/12v/18v/24v and one of a dozen or so connector sizes and one of two polarities, so you can almost never reuse a power brick and renders the device useless if you lose the power brick.

How about mandating those power supply can't have the cord built in, have six different connector sizes for the six (or are there more than six and I'm overlooking some?) voltages identical on BOTH ENDS of the cable and use a standard center positive polarity / sheath ground polarity? That would make everyone's lives a lot better than trying to force everyone to use a soon-to-be-obsolete connector on phones!

Microsoft admits: We WON'T pick the next Steve Ballmer this year

DougS Silver badge

Trump

They should do a version of the Apprentice where Trump and his pals evaluate Microsoft candidates and Trump decides who is best.

Someone, having Donald Trump decide the next Microsoft CEO would be fitting. Whoever he picked could hardly do a worse job of it than Ballmer did.

DougS Silver badge

@TechnicalBen Re: I'd vote for Flop

I don't see what your anti-Android complaints have to do with Microsoft participating in the smartphone market or not.

I think most people would agree that Windows dominating the PC market so strongly was a bad thing. The lack of any real dominance in the smartphone market is a good thing, and having three players is better than two. There are certain things Google may not do with Android if they thought it might damage their relationship with their customers (i.e. advertisers - you didn't think WE were their customers, did you?) There are certain things Apple may not do with iOS because they like to maintain much tighter control over the user experience than Google does. Having Microsoft around provides a third way, and with them as the "hungry player trying to come up from behind" they might try the things that neither Google and Apple will do, and lead to more consumer choices.

I can't believe I just defended Microsoft, I think I need a shower!

ALERT! Fling that fiery HP Chromebook 11 charger back at Google

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hot stuff

Why? It was probably some company in China that supplied it, and some company in China will also supply the replacement.

Unless some guy in HP knew about this beforehand and didn't take action, or wasn't suspicious if one company could undercut everyone else's prices by 50%, I don't see how you could blame him.

Beauty firm Avon sticks spike heel into $125m SAP-based sales project

DougS Silver badge

Re: AVON must be extraordinarily peeved, peeved

Why would only Canada's customers end up paying for it? Their much larger market is in the US (and maybe elsewhere in the world, I don't know) The article said it was a pilot in Canada, so presumably had it been successful it would have been expanded to Avon in the US/worldwide at a later time.

The ability of Avon to recoup these losses is limited to the extent its customers will pay higher prices. They can't just raise their prices to pay for it as you seem to be implying. If they were able to raise prices and make more money, they should have done so already. Companies price to maximize profit. They don't reach a certain target level of profit and then decide "lucky for our customers we're making enough money, we don't need to raise prices any further!"

Former US POLITICIAN gets 6 years in slammer for FACEBOOK SCAM

DougS Silver badge

Gold is not money

Then why is it that a quantity of gold today will buy the same amount of most basic commodities as it did 2000 years ago? It's utterly immaterial whether it's been invested, stored in a bank, or in a hole in the ground.

.

Because gold isn't money. Money is a creation of the state, and has value because the state says it does and requires it be accepted as payment for debt - including and especially for debts to the state (i.e. taxes) That means if I owe you $50, you can't insist I pay you in gold. If I offer you a $50 bill, you must accept it as payment for that debt. That doesn't stop you from saying you have an old bike to sell, but will only take gold, but that won't be considered a sale under the law but an exchange.

Gold is a good, and as such is more similar to other goods such as cans of tuna, iPhones and classic Ferraris than it is to dollar bills. Any good can be traded for another good, if the parties agree, but the value each good depends on the needs of the person. If you want a car and have gold, and the other guy has a car and wants gold, you may be able to come to an arrangement. If he has a car but doesn't want gold you're SOL.

In contrast to gold and other goods, a dollar has a fixed value, in terms of the state, because taxes are denominated in dollars. If you owe $1000 in taxes on April 15th and hyperinflation strikes and what you could buy with $1 on March 15th cost $1000 on April 15th, you still owe only $1000 in taxes.

The value relationship between goods changes all time. When gold was $1800, it required approximately 1/3 oz of gold to buy an iPhone. Now it requires approximately 1/2 oz of gold. Did iPhones become more valuable, or did their price go up by 50%? Of course not.

If a solar flare took out power across the entire western world with no hope of restoring it for years, iPhones would become valueless and cans of tuna would become much more valuable. If the state somehow survived the "price of gold" in dollars might shoot way up, almost without limit if hyperinflation set in, but an ounce of gold would still buy far fewer cans of tuna than it does today.

Google may drop Intel for own-recipe ARM: Bloomberg

DougS Silver badge

Re: @Trevor

Why do you think the cost of porting to ARM is huge? Shouldn't most of their code be in C or C++? Do you really believe it is hard to port C code to another architecture in 2013? Especially when both are running on the same OS? Or do you think that ARM Linux isn't well tested? Google only has about a billion such devices in the field today.

20 years ago I ported a suite of X11-based medical imaging code running on SunOS to Solaris, OSF/1 (on one of the first Alphas sold, well before ANYONE had ever thought about writing 64 bit clean code) and HP-UX. That was far far more difficult than what Google will have to do porting from x64 Linux to ARM64 Linux. SunOS let you write such terrible code, other systems (especially HP-UX) were a lot more picky and a lot of bad code had to be fixed along the way. Plus what I had to work with was written by people who were researchers who happened to write code, not professional programmers like Google has writing their applications. Google will have it way easier than I did.

You vastly overestimate the difficulty of their task. There's a good chance everything will compile first try. Yes, at that point there will be tons and tons and tons of testing required, because it doesn't work just because it compiles, runs and appears to work, but the actual number of problems found and changes to the code required will be few and far between, and you can easily identify the places you need to look carefully at (i.e. stuff like bitfields and complicated structures, where weird alignment rules and compiler bugs may lurk)

DougS Silver badge

@Trevor

I think you're overthinking this a bit.

Google builds commodity servers. They used to buy actual servers, but in successive generations they've customized more and more, but they are still easily recognizable as PC servers, they just remove the bits they don't need and buy the bits they do at larger and larger commodity volumes to drive down the price.

CPUs are just another commodity to Google. They need cycles, they don't care whether those are x86 or ARM cycles, so long as energy input for a certain amount of computation output is minimized. In fact, the actual cost of the CPU itself is probably down the list a bit since it is dwarfed by the power bill for running 24x7x365 for two or three years.

They don't really care about building an ARM server ecosystem, because it won't be useful to them. They just need an ARM server CPU, they can ride on the ARM mobile ecosystem that Apple and Google have already built up. A compiler is a compiler, Linux was ported to ARM long ago, etc.

So what ARM CPU to buy? Well, AMD is working on one, there are a few others, or they can design their own. I'm actually skeptical of them designing their own because if they go so far as to hire their own CPU design team it makes more sense to use something other than ARM, because ARM licensees cannot implement their own extensions to the ARM ISA. I suspect there may be certain things Google servers do often enough that creating highly customized SIMD instructions to accelerate it could be worth it, but they do not have that option if they go with ARM.

Factories are too DULL for Google's robo-dreams: Behold the GATAMAMs

DougS Silver badge

Google is becoming Microsoft

Once Microsoft realized they owned the entire market they were in, and had to rely on future growth in that market for their own growth, they started expanding into other stuff they thought might be the future. Google is doing the same.

Google knows robots are going to be a huge market, someday. They don't want to miss out on it so they're trying to get involved. Microsoft knew the same thing about smartphones, among other stuff, but despite some early success when the market was tiny, totally missed participating in the major growth phase of that market.

Just because Google is Google, and even should they have some early success in the robot market when it is small, doesn't mean Google will become Mom's Friendly Robot Company. By the time the robot market really hits, Google will be like Microsoft or IBM in their prime in people's minds - and I don't mean that as a good thing. That is going to be a big obstacle to them. Already I know people who choose Bing (ironic considering the owner) because they think Google is collecting too much information on them and don't want to give them search queries on top of everything else Google may collect on them.

NSA alleges 'BIOS plot to destroy PCs'

DougS Silver badge

Alexander lied to the US congress on multiple occasions

First telling the Judiciary Committee that "no data" was collected on US persons, which he later admitted was "incorrect" after Snowden's relevations.

Second was telling them that the spying had foiled 54 terror plots, but later admitted that only 13 of those were within the US, and only "one or two" were identified from collecting the phone records (who called who, when, from where, for how long, etc.)

There were probably others that I'm not aware of, or he hasn't be caught at yet.

So why does he think that ANYONE should believe what he was saying in the 60 Minutes interview?

Look behind you, T-Mobile US: Sprint wants to GOBBLE you – allegedly

DougS Silver badge

Combining GSM and CDMA?

I wonder if phones can switch between the two? Or are people going to use the "former Sprint network" or the "former T-mobile network" depending on what type of phone they have, and the only one getting an advantage from the combination are the upper management who will get to fire a lot of redundant staff and claim a bonus for saving money?

Apple iWatch due in October 2014, to wirelessly charge from one metre away – report

DougS Silver badge

One meter charging is a bit more useful

If your keyboard could act as a charger, it could top off your watch and the phone in your pocket while you work since both are within a meter of it, that would take care of the workaholic issue of running your phone dry before the end of the workday.

I suspect an Apple watch would not include a charging port and wireless will be the only way to charge it. The wireless charging solution may finally find the problem it has been looking so hard to find!

Hopefully the charger can be made very compact, because no one is going to want to bring something bulky with them when they travel. That no one wants to bring a charging mat with them when they travel is one of the (several) reasons wireless charging has been a flop so far.

DougS Silver badge
Joke

Re: Battery data meaningless

1.21 jiggowatts, of course!

'Disruptive, irritating' in-flight cellphone call ban mulled by US Senate

DougS Silver badge

Re: Easy fix

If you allow data but don't have a ban on calling, people could still Skype, Facetime, etc.

In fact, they're virtually certain to use that as I'm sure if they install a microcell on the airplane so that phones can operate beyond wifi it'll be just as pricey as the old Airphones hardly anyone ever used unless they were on an expense account.

US military's RAY-GUN truck BLASTS DRONES, mortars OUT OF THE SKY

DougS Silver badge

Doesn't stop a kinetic attack

So it keeps mortar rounds from exploding, but what if the enemy dispenses with the explosives and just uses the mortar as a more advanced catapult and starts flinging the modern equivalent of rocks and cannonballs? The laser doesn't help you then, except maybe that instead of heavy stuff falling on you, you have heavy hot stuff falling on you.

Instead of targeting American soldiers, they'll target our multi million dollar pieces of equipment, like helicopters, airplanes and oh how about the ray gun that stops them from using explosive mortars?

Facebook's monster PHP engine ready to muscle into ARM server chips

DougS Silver badge

Re: PHP?

It sounds like what they're using is some sort of PHP compiler, otherwise there would be no "porting" involved.

Jupiter moon Europa spotted spraying WATER into SPAAACCCEE

DougS Silver badge

Spectrum of that water?

Could we do a spectroscopic analysis of those geysers and see what else is in there aside from water? If there is any life at all in Europa's ocean, there should be some trace organic molecules in the geyser.

Apple's GOLDEN BLING MOBE still the top selling US handset

DougS Silver badge

Re: Peak Hamill

When the The Reg started adding the "peak Apple" subtitle on their stories, it wasn't because they thought Apple had peaked, it was because page views for their Apple stories had peaked and they needed an angle to get them back up :)

How Britain could have invented the iPhone: And how the Quangocracy cocked it up

DougS Silver badge

Re: What has this to do with Apple?

The reason Apple's investment appears so low compared with other companies is because of the way comparisons are done.

First, Wall Street compares companies by their investment as a percentage of revenue. If you invest a billion dollars a year and have $10 billion in revenue, that's 10%, a huge investment by their measure. If you invest $2 billion a year but have $200 billion in revenue, that's 1%, a paltry investment by their standards. Apple's revenue is well above that of Microsoft and Nokia, and close behind Samsung, so the measures aren't all equal. Apple invests more than Nokia EARNS, so the idea they don't invest like Nokia is laughable.

Samsung brings up the second half the equation. They don't just operate in the tiny market segment Apple does, they sell all that plus everything from TVs to washing machines to oil drilling platforms (via Samsung's Heavy Industries division) Their revenue is counted across all that. More importantly, their INVESTMENT is counted across all that. I can't imagine the next version of their oil drilling platform will be cheap to develop, but it counts in their investment dollars, while Apple invests nothing developing oil drilling platforms.

Apple has also grown far faster than these companies in the past five years. That growth has slowed down now, but when your revenues grow 10x larger in such a short time you can't upgrade your investing at the same pace, it takes some time to catch up. So Apple's investment looked to be "declining" to Wall Streeters who only look at the percentage, thus the constant complaint that Apple is under investing.

They're budgeted to be investing nearly $10 billion this next fiscal year. Does that sound like a small amount? Considering how relatively little they spent to develop the iPhone and iPad, one wonders exactly what they could be spending that much money on. Maybe they will introduce something in the next few years where they develop all the technology themselves, and move beyond making well functioning products where none existed previously (you can argue that nothing in the iPhone didn't exist elsewhere, but there were no phones that had them all in one package, and certainly nothing that offered anything remotely close to the user experience it did) Those who hate Apple and claim they're incapable of ever inventing anything can console themselves that if this occurs, some of it will undoubtedly be due to the purchases of small companies to gain access to their technology (as they did with Fingerworks to get the multitouch technology)

Thought of in-flight mobile calls fills you with dread? Never fear, US Dept of Transport is here

DougS Silver badge

Re: This is not unreasonable

I've heard that too, and maybe that was true back in the days of analog cell phones since they were higher power. After they went digital they could have removed the restriction if that was the only reason.

A friend of mine who does avionics work insisted that cell phones could interfere with flight control systems, despite all the evidence to the contrary (i.e. the fact that many of us would sometimes forget to turn off our phones, along with people who just like to flout the rules, means that pretty much every takeoff and landing will occur with a few phones powered up) I remember hearing that Nokia tone coming from the overheard compartment during takeoff and landing plenty of times, as we all have.

More recently the ring comes from people's pockets, and is no longer a Nokia tone...how the world changes :)

DougS Silver badge

This is not unreasonable

If the FCC was banning their use due to safety concerns, and the safety concerns have been shown to no longer be (or never have been) an issue, the FCC has no grounds on which to leave the ban in place.

The DOT hasn't had to ban them before because they were already banned, doing so would be like passing a law that it is illegal to kill someone in a grocery store, when there are already laws against murder that would apply to that situation

But once the FCC lifts the ban, the DOT can ban them for other reasons, like the fact that having people incessantly babbling on about stupid stuff 10" from each ear from takeoff to landing will cause many of us to want to hijack the plane and powerdive it into the ground to stop the madness.

I want virtualisation on my iPhone, and I want it NOW

DougS Silver badge

Re: The problem is...

As a techie I want that control, but making it possible for the end user to control also allows greater potential harm from a security exploit. That's why some devices where security is more sensitive have a physical switch or jumper that needs to be changed to allow certain changes to the device to be made. I suppose that could be implemented in Android phones, at least those that have a removable back cover.

DougS Silver badge

Re: The problem is...

That helps the 0.5% of the population who would actually want to install a new bootloader on their phone, but wouldn't matter for the actual target market of people wanting to use the same phone for personal use while letting corporate IT lock it down as far as the part of it that accesses corporate resources.

If the corporate IT departments cared about avoiding closed source they wouldn't have much to choose from - even portions of Android are closed source, such as Maps and Youtube.

DougS Silver badge

The problem with doing this on a phone is how to present it to the user

Having a separate home and work personality for your phone sounds nice in theory, but making it so the typical user understands the division and how to manage it is a different story.

It is easy to just make it work like two separate phones in the same physical package. If not with two SIMs, at least whole separate environments where you have two OS installs, two sets of apps, if you want to change your wallpaper have to change it twice, etc.

That's a terrible solution for usability, however, as you probably don't want to put your phone into "work" mode and be unable to see an iMessage (or the Android equivalent) sent to your home personality. You can argue "well, you could configure it so you could, but the more compromises like that which are made the less point there is of doing it at all because the whole point is to keep the device setup the way corporate IT wants to make it secure (or what they feel is secure) and the more you make it work like YOU want the less likely that is.

Doing this right is probably not a job for virtualization, unless you have a job with very tight security requirements (i.e. classified data, or you work with trade secrets) At least not at the OS level. Virtualization the entire OS sounds great to us techies who run a virtualized Windows on our Linux booting laptops, as we're more willing to live with the limitations that would be imposed on us. This isn't a solution for an average person without a lot of effort towards making it work seamlessly, which is why the capability exists on some Android phones but sees little use, and why you're unlikely to ever see this on the iPhone, at least not as described in the article.

US mobile telcos: All right, ALL RIGHT, FCC! We'll redo phone unlock rules

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why the military?

You could argue the same is true of someone who works for a multinational that sends them to China for a year to help set up a new factory or something. Yeah, they could quit, but no one is going to quit their job to save paying the cell company's ETF.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why the military

In the US companies screwing over customers is pretty much accepted as a "we can't do anything about it so we just have to take it". But if a company is seen screwing over veterans/servicemen, the publicity almost always causes a quick reversal of policy.

Lawmakers will sometimes pass laws exempting veterans or those currently in service from enduring the same problems everyone else has to endure, because they want to be seen as strongly behind the troops. I'm not sure if this policy of the carriers is the result of a law or of one carrier getting publicly shamed for trying to collect a ETF for a guardman sent to Afghanistan, but it was likely one or the other.

I'm not suggesting this is wrong, but it would be nice if Congress could agree on something that doesn't have such a cynical political calculation involved.

Apple iPhone 5s still world's top-selling smartphone – report

DougS Silver badge

Re: S4 vs Note III

The Note III is newer than the S4, which may account for it too.

Samsung, like Apple, sells their new products fastest immediately after introduction, then they slow down after a while because some people decide it is worth waiting a few more months for the next model to come out.

I'm sure there are some who choose the Note III over the S4 because of screen size, but I doubt that a majority of buyers of Samsung's high end phones think the S4's 5" is too small and are choosing the Note III for that reason. If the Note III is still outselling the S4 in February then I might buy your theory.

DougS Silver badge

Apple/Samsung dominance

This list must make for rather unhappy reading for the CEOs of every company aside from Apple and Samsung.

Ballmer: 'We made more money than almost anybody on the PLANET'

DougS Silver badge

8 stock splits? Try ONE!

Ballmer took over as CEO in January 2000, since then there has been ONE stock split, in 2003. There were 8 under Bill Gates, so the author got it wrong (the Fortune article doesn't even mention stock splits, so I blame the Reg author)

The share price when Ballmer took over was around its all time high. If you adjust it for splits and dividends, it ranged from 36 to 41, it is currently 37.61 - with several points of its recent increase probably due to the announcement of Ballmer's retirement!

The adjusted price takes into account all the dividends paid out, so the value of the company is lower or at best the same as when he took over. However, during that time the PC market more than doubled in size, and huge new markets like smartphones and tablets grew up from nothing. Microsoft shareholders realized ZERO gain from all that. He's an utter failure by any measure.

I KNOW how to SAVE Microsoft. Give Windows 8 away for FREE – analyst

DougS Silver badge

I wonder if Microsoft would actually lose any money at all with this plan?

So few people upgrade Windows as it is, this wouldn't cost them much at all. In the days of Windows 95, sure, people upgraded all the time. But what reason does someone have to upgrade a PC that came with Windows 7?

There's nothing a PC that shipped with Windows 7 can't do that Windows 8 can, it isn't like applications or games are requiring Windows 8 or there were a ton of laptops sold with dormant touch capability people are dying to enable with Windows 8.

Personally I wouldn't "upgrade" my Windows 7 partition to Windows 8 even if it were free, so they might not want to try that idea because if the uptake wasn't too great it would be a marketing fiasco.

DougS Silver badge

Re: This is nonsense of the highest order.

Microsoft makes almost nothing from OEM sales. They supply it for almost nothing to hardware manufacturers as a means of ensuring their operating system is the predominant.

No, you're wrong. Estimates are they charge about $40 for an OEM license. That's a lot cheaper than buying a packaged copy, but it is far from free. Given that almost no one upgrades Windows at a consumer or small business level anymore, and enterprises on subscription plans, if they really gave away OEM Windows for almost nothing then the Windows division's only income would come from enterprise subscriptions. One look at their financials breakdown will show that's not the case.

Speeding cops, fearsome drops and Death Star shops

DougS Silver badge

Re: Personally

The freemium model is designed with kids/teenagers in mind, not you. They've loaded gift cards in to pay for stuff, and don't think of it as spending real money. Most don't have any real sense of what money is worth anyway at that age since they don't have to earn it.

When their balance runs out they'll ask for more for birthday, Christmas, rewards for getting As or just because mom and dad are tired of hearing them whine. Developers are out to maximize the money they make, and based on developer uptake freemium clearly works, even if some adults hate it and avoid such games.

A whopping one in four Apple fanbois uses OBSOLETE TECH

DougS Silver badge

Re: @DougS

When I said "upgrades" I was talking about the users who purchased a device originally running iOS 6.x or earlier, and UPGRADED it to iOS 7. I wasn't trying to suggest that 90% of the iPhones out there had been purchased in the past few months, that would be quite ridiculous!

If there are 600 million iOS devices in use, and 75% are running iOS 7.x, that's 450 million devices running iOS 7. If Apple has sold in the ballpark of 35 million iPhones since iOS 7 came out (therefore sold already running iOS 7) plus 10 or 20 million iPads, that means the remaining roughly 400 million devices running iOS 7 were UPGRADED to iOS 7.

How many devices running Android never get an upgrade offered to them, or only get one? Yes, I know you can root and upgrade, but only a tiny fraction of Android owners do that. That's the difference between iOS and Android. Whether it matters all that much is another matter, you get some new features with upgrades, others that depend on hardware you can't get (i.e no fingerprint scanner on an iOS 7 upgrade, just as you don't get BLE on an upgrade to Android 4.3 unless the device has the hardware) For security issues, it can be a big deal however.

You talk about the much larger number of Android devices out there, but that makes the problem worse for Android, because not only are there fewer iOS devices in the first place, there are MANY fewer running an outdated version of the OS. That leaves a big opening when security issues are found in older versions of Android, because the owners of those devices are for the most part entirely screwed, because once the phone is sold the vendor no longer cares about you so you aren't getting upgrades 4 years later as Apple was doing for 3gs owners.

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