* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

China bets the house on LTE TDD

DougS Silver badge

Gives the standard momentum??

China Mobile CREATED the standard, so it was never in question that it was going to have the largest mobile network in the world backing it.

It would be news if other countries decided to use it too, but otherwise this is like reporting that Apple has decided to use iOS 8 as the operating system for the iPhone 6.

You THINK you're watching your LG smart TV - but IT's WATCHING YOU, baby

DougS Silver badge

The only news here

Is that they haven't caught the other smart TV vendors doing this yet.

Seriously, given that Tivo, satellite and cable company DVRs all report viewing habits, having the TV do it is rather redundant. Maybe the really smart ones can tell what you're watching by sensing embedded codes in the audio (like Shazam does)

Most people never "change the channel" on their TV, unless you count switching from HDMI 1 to HDMI 2 as changing the channel...

Antidote for poisonous Aussie Red-Back Spider venom DOESN'T WORK

DougS Silver badge

Placebo effect?

If I was bitten by a spider reputed to have a deadly bite, I'd be pretty stressed out. Getting a shot of antivenom I believed to work would at least greatly reduce the stress and make recovery more likely even if they had given me a shot of saline.

Apple's secret 12.9-inch MONSTER needs a good fondle, say biz sources

DougS Silver badge

12.9" high resolution panel?

Couldn't possibly be for a 13" laptop, then?

The article doesn't even specify that these are touchscreen panels, and since Apple uses in-cell technology the touchscreen is integrated into the LCD matrix.

Reporting fail.

Dark horse shocker: Verizon first to ship KitKat update for Moto X

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Fixing unspecified bugs

I never worry about what bugs an update will fix, unless there is one that is really getting in my way. I'm far more worried about what bugs an update adds.

PlayStation 4 BLUE LIGHT OF DEATH blamed on power cords, TV sets, butterflies in China

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Re: Shows how stupid it is having one indicator that covers all possible failures

But at least for the cost of a $10 cable and some free software, you can do some minimal diagnosis yourself of what "check engine" entails.

But I see your point, if that wasn't required by law I'm sure some/most automakers would be happy to keep us ignorant and forced to go to a dealer and pay $100 to find out that the check engine light is a spurious warning from the O2 sensor.

DougS Silver badge

Shows how stupid it is having one indicator that covers all possible failures

Would it be that hard to have couple old school seven segment LCDs to show a two digit numeric code to help pinpoint the issue? They could leave it off when there is no trouble to avoid spoiling the look, or even locate it inside the case. What would that cost, a nickel?

China challenged to take down all of AWS and Google

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Or, more likely

It will provide an economic boost to Chinese companies trying to compete in cloud computing, so Chinese companies, or US companies who want to do business in China, will eventually be forced to use them instead of Amazon or Google's clouds.

Which would be totally fine with the government folks doing the censoring.

CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! Dell's Android PC on a stick to ship with Santa

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Been wondering about a possible use I have for one of these

What are the ways to control one of these, aside from a keyboard/mouse? Is it controllable via a VNC app that could be installed on a Android or iOS device? Or maybe it has some sort of internal web server?

The Google device's being only for mirroring makes it useless for my needs, but one of these, or their many no-name Chinese friends, which are effectively standalone computers may be just the ticket.

iPHONE 5c FACTORY SHUTDOWN: Foxconn 'halts' mobe rebrand op

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Re: Premium ?

Exactly what the hell phone do you think ships with a $200 screen, or even remotely approaches a $500 BOM?

If you think the Galaxy 4S or Note 3 does, you need to educate yourself. They cost a little more than the iPhone 5S does to make, but only about $30 more, not $300 more! Samsung is getting almost as rich off the fanboys buying their products as Apple is off the fanboys buying theirs!

iSpy with my little eye: Apple wants to track your every move

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Re: Right now, someone at google is screaming...

Google can and maybe even will implement this. iBeacon is the Apple implementation of Beacon, which is an open standard that works using BLE. Paypal is the one pushing this standard, hoping to get it used for payments (so in that regard it does compete with NFC, but AFAIK Google doesn't have any particular allegiance to NFC)


Arm-wave bye BYE! Apple grabs Kinect flail-sensor maker for $345m

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple Telly

Steve Jobs was the largest individual shareholder in Disney, and a member of its board. Now his widow is (the largest shareholder, not on the board) That relationship with Disney might be enough to help Apple get a deal with them. That doesn't guarantee the Sonys and MGMs of the world would be willing to deal, but makes it a bit more likely than it would otherwise be.

India's Martian MOM lays another perfect orbital egg

DougS Silver badge

"pinch tiny parts of Earth's energy"

That's what they say, but they really just want to make the day longer so they can sleep in a bit longer!

Schiller: 'Almost everyone' at Apple works on iPhones - not Macs or anything

DougS Silver badge

Microsoft often has more than one team working on the same product, and the leadership will decide at some late stage which one to go to market with. Bill Gates believes competition breeds excellence (ironic in a company that did so much to maintain their monopoly) so he encouraged this internal competition between teams. Unfortunately the downside is that it is just as likely a team will compete not by doing better than the other team, but by trying to hinder the other team's efforts.

Once you have that mindset in place, just about every team is a potential enemy. You want to look better than them because you want more resources, more people, a bigger go-to-market budget, etc. and if that takes blocking their progress, so be it.

Apple has very few products, and never develops two products with the same purpose to see which one "wins". It is a totally different mindset.

Fukushima fearmongers: It's your fault Japan dumped CO2 targets

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Re: No middle ground for the hard Greens...

Burning wood or dung contributes no CO2, unless they have dug up 1000 year old wood and dung to burn.

Look! GNOME 3.10 (with Fedora 20). Did we mention GNOME 3.10?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fallback mode

I switched from CentOS to Fedora because I got tired of anything I tried to install not working because of something that was only available with more recent kernels or libraries than what CentOS/Redhat provided.

I agree I don't need to change distribution because of it, it would just be on principle for the people in charge of Fedora not realizing how dumb they are for sticking with Gnome when everyone else has already abandoned ship.

But I'll try the tweak tool suggestion first. I should download the beta to install in a VM and see if I can beat the desktop into acceptable shape using that.

DougS Silver badge

Fallback mode

I remember hearing that GNOME 3.8 was going to remove fallback mode, but then heard there was some other way to get some of the 2.x feature set in it.

What is the status of all this for GNOME 3.10 in Fedora 20? I need to upgrade my Fedora 17 install, but will not use GNOME 3. Never. I'm using fallback mode in Fedora 17, if they take that away I'll probably just abandon Fedora entirely for being too stupid to avoid following the morons at GNOME off the cliff.

If they expect me to use a WM without a minimize button, they can go fuck themselves.

Samsung prepping smartphone with curvy three-sided display

DougS Silver badge

Samsung has the ability to make flexible screens, so now

They're trying desperately to find a use for them so they'll have a reason to make them.

Google SO CAN scan ALL BOOKS onto its sites - judge

DougS Silver badge

"District court"

This is going to be appealed, so calling it decided is silly until the Supreme Court agrees with this ruling or refuses to hear a case and lets a lower court ruling that agrees with this stand.

SECRET draft copyright treaty LEAKED: Meet the Trans-Pacific Partnership

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OK, just let me get your plan straight in my head, you think you can interest the same people who are mesmerized by a farting cat, get them to reject big media, and think (what you consider to be) real art and creativity will rise up in its place?

Why do you not think more videos of farting cats would not fill the void left by big media, since these people you're convincing with this magic meme of yours have already demonstrated their interest in farting cats?

Google goes looking for more GLASSHOLES

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Re: the cynicism displayed on here

So anything that Google or Samsung productize first is automatically good, and any criticism is just fanboys hating on the other guy? So does that mean anything that Apple or Microsoft productize first is automatically stupid, and any hating on it from Google or Samsung fanboys is fully justified?


DougS Silver badge

Re: I read this and I think

Political bias fail. If everything you see is left or right, you're missing a whole separate axis of the political spectrum.

The authoritarian flavor of communism, as practiced by the late USSR, North Korea, Cuba, and China, is nothing like what Karl Marx advocated for. There's no reason why a communist government needs to spy on its citizens, put them in jail for the wrong views, etc. any more than this is needed in a democracy or a monarchy.

Authoritarianism/libertarianism is completely separate from the left/right spectrum, and authoritarianism can be practiced equally well under communism or democracy, as our democratic governments are lately demonstrating quite well, just as it would be possible to have a communist government where people are more free (other than free to get rich at the expense of others) than they are in our democracies.

Communism just doesn't work on a scale beyond that of a village, but then neither does a true democracy (i.e., where we would personally vote on every measure instead of electing people to do it for us)

DougS Silver badge

I read this and I think

I sure am glad I live in the free world where this doesn't happen.

Then I remember when I was a kid, and I'd read about how in the USSR and East Germany people needed papers to move about within their own borders and had their phones routinely tapped, and was happy I lived where that didn't happen.

So maybe I shouldn't be so sure I won't live to see people executed for owning the wrong book or watching the wrong TV show here in the "free" world.

Android in FOUR out of 5 new smartphones. How d'ya like dem Apples?

DougS Silver badge

"6 or 7 inch screens"

Good god, are there really phablets with 7" screens now? When will the madness end?

Apple's new iPad Mini: ALREADY set for Black Friday PRICE SLASH

DougS Silver badge

Re: I think Target knows what it is doing

How does Target choosing to use it as a come on mean it is "no longer a premium gadget"? Apple can't stop retailers from discounting it, and maybe it means a few more sales for Apple. Even if they want a minimum advertised price policy, they aren't about to lift a finger to try to enforce one, what with the ebook settlement still worrying their lawyers...

If Target said "we're giving away 5 iPads to the first people in the door at all our stores", Target would still be paying the full wholesale price to Apple. It doesn't make iPads that people paid full price for worth any less, just means they didn't think a saving a few hundred bucks was worth standing around in the cold all day on Thanksgiving.

DougS Silver badge

I think Target knows what it is doing

If it gets people in the store to drop a few hundred dollars on an iPad, they feel it is likely they'll have other expensive items on their Christmas shopping list that they might also find at Target. Yeah, there will be some people who go there only for the iPad deal and that's it, but I'll bet those people in the minority. Most people don't have the time to go to 15 different stores to get the best deal on every item on their shopping list, so they'll pick and choose a few stores where they can maximize their savings. If there's an iPad on their list, Target is going to be where they go for it if they can save $75 - $100, and they'll cross other items off their list while they're there.

New Retina iPad Mini not sold out HOURS after launch - world REELS

DougS Silver badge

@Anon 15:45

Or maybe, you know, Apple managed to avoid any sort of supply issues and managed to build enough of them at launch to supply at least the first day's demand.

Gotta love the Apple haters line: If they run out of supply, it is because Apple is artificially restricting supply to create buzz, not due to high sales. If they don't run out of supply, it is because "fanbois are no longer loyal", they wouldn't even consider that maybe for once Apple built enough of them.

Either way, they're always in denial that Apple is selling very many, because if Apple has a shrinking percentage of the overall market, they must be going down the tubes. Nevermind that Apple keeps selling more iPads and iPhones every year than the last. There is a large portion of the market that will only buy on the low end, and Android OEMs are happy to supply there. Apple isn't interested in that market, because there is almost no profit to be made from those customers, before or after the sale.

AIR TIME! Our expert cosies up with the new top-end iPad

DougS Silver badge

2x faster

Did Apple say that the iPad Air was 2x faster, or was the author relying on the 2x claim from the iPhone 5S presentation? Because the iPhone went from A6 to A7, while the iPad went from A6X to A7 - the A6X had 50% beefier graphics than the A6 in the iPhone 5, so it would have a much harder time getting anything near 2x unless it too got 50% beefier graphics than the iPhone 5S.

Not sure why they didn't do an "X" version of A7 this time, as everyone was assuming they would since they always have in the past.

Security researcher Cédric 'Sid' Blancher dead at 37

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Waiting for the inevitable conspiracy theory about a critical vulnerability he was going to make public at a conference soon...

Boffins agree: Yes we have had an atmospheric warming pause

DougS Silver badge


Nobody "drowns" because of climate change, except in Hollywood movies. A slowly rising sea level that puts some current cities underwater over a couple hundred years is doing so over a couple hundred years, not overnight.

I don't see how you can do the calculations you propose, because there's no way to attribute an individual's death to climate change, or to the measures taken to prevent it, or prove it isn't linked to either. I'm sure some doomsayers will claim that the Super Typhoon that hit the Philippines was as strong as it was due to climate change, and would thus attribute many of the deaths to climate change. If we took strong measures to prevent climate change, and a bunch of people died in the Philippines in the next few weeks from disease or even starvation, the deniers would claim that the reduction in available resources due to the prevention measures were responsible for many of those deaths. Without a "control", there's no way to know in either direction, and lacking a spare Earth to compare with, we'll never have such a control.

Since there's no way to know, and since climate change's main prediction is "more extreme weather", pretty much any natural disaster other than earthquakes or volcanoes can be linked to it (and I'm sure some of the more extreme proponents are probably working on ways to blame even earthquakes and volcanoes on climate change)

I want NSA chief's head on a plate for Merkelgate, storms Senator McCain

DougS Silver badge

Re: How on Earth did McCain choose Palin?

He was forced by the demographics of the republican party to move right of where he really is, and even then his handlers were worried that some far right voters would stay home so they brought in someone they could relate to. For an added bonus she was a woman, so they hoped to grab the disillusioned Hillary supporters. They were foolish for thinking anyone who supported Hillary would think Palin is an acceptable substitute.

I would have voted for the real McCain in a heartbeat, and I suspect that's true for a lot of people who don't really identify with either party, so surely it cost him more votes than it gained. I think the far right people would have voted against Obama anyway, so worries about losing votes were probably groundless unless they were worried about someone making a third party run to his right.

'Burning platform' Elop: I'd SLASH and BURN stuff at Microsoft, TOO

DougS Silver badge

I hope Bing stays around

Not that I use it, but we certainly don't want to be handing Google any more of a monopoly than they already have in search!

DougS Silver badge

Why is 30% to Apple and Google a problem?

You don't think Microsoft gets anyone near 100% of the sales price when a home user buys a copy from Best Buy, or a small business buys a few from a VAR, do you?

The advantage for them would be that it reduces the opportunity for alternative Office suites to gain any more traction than they already are. That should be worth giving up a small cut. Not that there is really a need for an Office suite on a phone or tablet beyond a reader, or perhaps a simple editor on a tablet. People aren't going to be writing term papers on a tablet, even if it has a keyboard cover.

BIG, CURVY Apple models: Just right for SLAP AND TICKLE

DougS Silver badge

I hope this isn't true

I don't want a phone with a curved screen. I see no real benefit, just some hand waving by people trying to justify this as a "feature" rather than just another gimmick.

If it is curved I hope it is extremely minimal, and the back of the phone is still flat, because if it looks like the two recent curved phones that have been shown I won't be upgrading, but hanging on and hoping they fix this mistake with the 6S :)

Pressure sensing would be nice however. Adding another dimension to the operation of a touchscreen has some obvious advantages. But it has to be pretty precise to be useful, if it is just "light pressure" and "heavy pressure" it won't be worth much.

Bloke named 'human' demands 'COPSLIE' licence plate

DougS Silver badge

They saved the guy from himself

I have to imagine driving around with that plate is going to get you stopped for every possible offense. Some of the reasons may even prove his plate true, for all the good it'll do him if he tries to contest the ticket.

FLIGHTMARE! Inflight cell calling debuts, dealing heavy blow to quality of life

DougS Silver badge

Re: But...

I was thinking the same thing. First time I get sat next to some idiot doing that, I'm searching Ebay and ordering one of these from China.

Get one that looks like an innocent item and you can turn it on and avoid making flying any worse than it already is these days. It isn't like the flight attendants will have equipment that lets them triangulate the location of the interference.

If it crashes the plane, well, I guess it solves the problem for everyone else in the future since they'll figure out wifi crashed the plane and that'll be that for any sort of wifi on filghts. At least I won't have died for nothing :)

Google patent: THROAT TATTOO with lie-detecting mobe microphone built-in

DougS Silver badge

Google is trying to create the Borg

I think maybe a little update of the Reg icons may be in order between the Glasses and now this...

Whatever happened to that Bill Gates as Borg icon? Surely that can easily be updated with Larry Page?

Star Wars VII set for Xmas release. Ho, ho, ho... not THIS Christmas

DougS Silver badge

Drop the CGI? Hell no!

You don't want to see Carrie Fisher's actual body in a bikini, do you? <shudders>

Another zombie 'bogus app' bug shambles out of Android

DougS Silver badge

What, ANOTHER zip bug?

Zip seems to be Google's Achilles heel for programming in the same way daylight savings is for Apple!

We've invented the FONBLET, says Samsung

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I'm skeptical about tablets bigger than 10"

But if this report and rumors that Apple will introduce a 12.9" tablet are true, I guess I must be wrong because both Samsung and Apple doing something means there probably is a market for it after all.

Acer suffers terrible let-down after unexpected withdrawal of Wang

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Hey Lewis - we need a "best of El Reg's headlines" article

Every few months you guys come up with one like this that should be saved for posterity. I'm sure I've forgotten many over the years, and would love to be reminded of them again!

Apple: How we slip YOUR data to govts – but, hey, we're not Google

DougS Silver badge

Re: 'We do not store location data'

The data was stored on the phone and wasn't uploaded to Apple. It was fixed several years ago, shortly after whenever it was discovered.

Yeah, you can say "I don't believe them", just as you could say the same about Google when they were caught slurping actual Wifi traffic during the streetview drive-bys.

For all the complaining people do about the high prices Apple charges, that does at least mean the customer relationship with Apple is different than it is with Facebook or Google. When you buy an Apple product, you're the customer, so they want to keep you happy. When you use Facebook or Google, you're the product, and they're more interested in keeping their true customers, the advertisers who pay to sling ads at you, happy moreso than you, the freeloader who gets their services without paying.

Secrets of Apple's mysterious Arizona sapphire factory: Our expert whispers all

DougS Silver badge

Re: What about the reflections?

They could have a stage in manufacturing where they etch a simple pattern into it (I'm talking micron range) so the reflections are no longer incident to the angle of the screen but instead well dispersed over a wide range.

I'm sure they've thought of this and have a solution if they plan on producing enough of it that they are apparently going to use it for the (or a top layer of) screen glass in some/many/all products.

DougS Silver badge

They don't need maximum economies of scale

They just need it to drop in price to where they can add it to their products. There's no reason to expect customers will have to dig deep into their pockets, no one is going to pay an extra $100 for a sapphire screen and they won't be asked to do so.

Galaxy is CRAMMED with EARTH-LIKE WORLDS – also ALIENS (probably)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Cool..but also oddly disturbing

Why? Just because you have a feeling that's so?

Until recently most scientists thought Earth like planets in the habitable zone would be fairly rare. Now we found out there are billions in just our own galaxy. We don't know whether life arising is common or not, or how likely it is that intelligent life will eventually arise given a long enough period for evolution to take its course. The only way we'll find out the answer is to go look, so unfortunately we won't get an answer in our lifetimes unless some friendly alien comes along and tells us of the million civilizations out there or how we're the only other civilization he's seen in millennia of searching.

While it is possible we're "living in the cosmic era where the first civilizations start appearing", that's exceedingly unlikely given the number of planets out that capable of potentially supporting life as we know it.

The "if we're not alone why haven't we heard from anyone" could simply be that we haven't discovered the technology that civilizations typically use to communicate just yet. If we wanted to communicate off planet 120 years ago, our best bet would have been to use a lighthouse, because we didn't have radio. 50 years ago we'd have used AM or FM analog radio. Now we'd use some sort of digital transmission, which would sound like mere noise to someone who heard it a century ago.

Life has existed on this planet for 3.5 billion years, humans for several hundred thousand, and we've had the means to send radio signals strong enough to leave the solar system for barely one hundred. If we discover something new that obsoletes radio, why would we bother to continue to broadcast and listen for radio signals "out there"? We'd assume they'd use the technology that replaced it, because it is better. If the average civilization replaces radio after a couple centuries, then never listens to it again, the odds of us hearing back from anyone via SETI even if there are millions of civilizations out there is very nearly zero.

Switzerland to set up 'Swiss cloud' free of NSA, GCHQ snooping (it hopes)

DougS Silver badge

Smart idea

They know the time when the banking industry can support them is drawing to a close, and the NSA has handed them a new industry to take its place.

There are very few who hate the Swiss. They haven't invaded anyone, or been behind secret coups or Communist uprisings in anyone's memory or even the memories of their now dead great great grandparents. They're seen as trustworthy, whether you're from the US, the UK, Germany, Russia, China or Saudi Arabia.

Crypto boffins propose replacing certification authorities with ... Bitcoin?

DougS Silver badge

If they do this

I hope the system supports multiple certificate types used as a single collective certificate. That way if the NSA compromises one type of encryption, they couldn't masquerade as someone else, they'd have to break them all.

Sure, it requires more computational power, but we seem to mostly have a excess of that these days, at least on an individual basis.

Here's what YOU WON'T be able to do with your PlayStation 4

DougS Silver badge

CD support is an issue? Really??

All CDs have either been ripped to MP3 or their owners care about the reproduction quality so they weren't planning on playing it through a game console anyway!

Oh, the PS4 can't play MP3s either? Oh darn, guess you'll have to use one of the dozen other devices you own that can!

Talk about first world problems....if someone comes out with a new TV that can't do Netflix people going to whine about that too, because they want their TV to do it in addition to their desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, DVR, Blu Ray player, and set top? This "all devices must be able to do everything" idea is stupid. Its a game console, it is for games. If you want a game console that tries to be the center of your living room, the Xbox One is there waiting for you, with its braindead HDMI passthru solution.

Indestructible, badass rootkit BadBIOS: Is this tech world's Loch Ness Monster? VOTE NOW

DougS Silver badge

Stuxnet 2.0?

The only credence I could give to this is that it came from the same sort of people who created Stuxnet.

Some of the claims sound a little out there, but given what I've recently learned my government has been up to, and with cooperation from Intel, Microsoft and others when creating PC standards to deliberately a leave a few cracks in the door open for something like this, who knows...

Google and Samsung bare teeth in battle for LANDFILL ANDROID™

DougS Silver badge

Why Linux?

Android is already Linux. You want to run Android apps on Linux, why not do so? As Android proponents never fail to mention, Android is open, so that should be easy, right? Oh, by "open" you mean that allows someone else to take care of the hard work making that happen for you...

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