* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

The iWatch is coming! The iWatch is coming!

DougS Silver badge

Re: "It would need recharging every day."

Wouldn't this be a good use of wireless charging? Its unlikely Apple will put a dock connector in the thing, even the new smaller dock connector is pretty big compared to a watch. Take it off at night and set it on a charging pad next to your bed.

I wouldn't think you want a watch that needed charging EVERY day though, because who wants to take a charging mat with them when they travel. So a week's battery life would be a good compromise, any longer and you'd need a find a way to charge it (is it possible to do so through a headphone jack?)

I don't think a week's battery life is a problem. The screen needn't be on all the time, it could come on with a touch or maybe by waving your arm in a particular way (hopefully not a way that makes one look too silly) Ditto for the CPU, it would be idle 99.9% of the time, since it isn't exactly going to be calculating pi when the screen is off.

One of the big consumers of battery in phones is the cellular and wifi modems. This would have neither, and use only Bluetooth or some similar short range technology to talk to your other device, so it would also be idle most of the time.

Apple: ebook price fixing? Nooo, nothing to do with us, no siree

DougS Silver badge

Even assuming you call iTunes a monopoly, it was a pretty benign monopoly since Apple never gouged the customers. In fact, Apple wanted to keep the uniform 99 cent pricing and was only pushed to the $1.29 pricing by the record labels, who found they weren't making as much money.

Surprise surprise, when people are given the option to buy a single song for 99 cents or even $1.29 they'd rather buy the one or two songs they actually WANT rather than buying the whole album that includes all the filler most people don't want.

The labels kind of knew that already, which is why back in the dark days when CDs cost $15 they sold "CD singles" for $5 to $7! I can only imagine Steve Jobs was able to talk them into signing up with iTunes because they figured the business would never go anywhere. Probably the same reason the publishers originally signed up with Amazon.

BlackBerry and Apple pie this summer. Or BBM-onna-Droid

DougS Silver badge

A few years too late

Had they done this early enough that it caught on before iMessage came out, maybe it would have had a chance of becoming a cross platform standard. But now? There are how many ways available to send text messages without using SMS? What is the draw for one more?

Seems like the only market is for that small number of people who want to switch from Blackberry to iOS/Android but can't bear the thought of giving up BBM. All those who abandoned Blackberry long ago have no reason to turn back the clock and start using BBM again.

IT'S OFFICIAL: Hipster era is OVER – sorry, beanie boiz...

DougS Silver badge

No questions about smartphones?

We could have finally solved the mystery of how quickly hipsters are switching from iPhone to Samsung Galaxy.

Instead we have questions about PBR?? I guess I must not know any actual hipsters if drinking PBR is one of the requirements. If I went to the right bar I might find some PBR drinkers, but they'd all be over 70.

NYC attorney seeks mobe-makers' help to curb muggings

DougS Silver badge

Thefts in London vs. NYC

Since people always complain about how Apple screws them on the exchange rate, maybe they're a better theft target because they're worth more in London?

Maybe the New Yorkers are more willing to fight back if someone tries to take their phone without displaying a gun?

Maybe the cops in London actually try to solve crimes like this, while in the US if you report your phone stolen they take down your name and tell you they'll look into it but do nothing, so people feel it is futile to even report it?

United Nations: 'Overpopulated Earth? Time to EAT BUGS'

DougS Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Anything is edible if it is boiled, deep fried, or covered in chocolate...

...and you don't know what it is.

As for me, I'll go vegan before I resort to eating insect "meat".

Or mostly vegan - I figure I could still eat a pound of real meat for every eight pounds of insect meat a Malthusian eats. After all, we'd have the same planetary impact according to their formula...

I chose the icon because it looks sorta like a squashed bug if you squint a bit.

Bill & Jobs' excellent adventure: Steve's tech looked better than mine

DougS Silver badge

Re: Windows Design After Gates

Yup - just look at the Windows version of iTunes.

Apple wants to make iTunes work best on Mac, Microsoft wants to make Office work best on Windows, Google wants to make Google Maps work best on Android. Color me shocked!

Review: Samsung Galaxy S4

DougS Silver badge

IR is NOT a useful addition to a phone

Spot on. There haven't been any true innovations in phones for several years now.

However, I can't believe someone singled out IR as a useful innovation. This was already added to phones a decade ago and rightly abandoned as it saw little use aside from smartasses surreptitiously turning off/changing channels on TVs/monitors located in public places. I suspect that will cover 98% of its usage this time around as well, but thanks to how easy it will now be to download codes to your phone for every possible device out there it'll be done 100x more often.

Apple asked me for my BANK statements, says outraged reader

DougS Silver badge

Re: Not oresent

Perhaps she doesn't live close to one, or prefers the convenience of ordering online?

It is crazy that Apple is asking for all these details, but I have to imagine that buying Apple stuff is pretty high on the hit list for stolen credit card information. Phones and tablets are probably the ideal for them, because they have a very high value per weight and per volume as compared to TV sets, and are much easier to resell compared to jewelry.

When I had my credit card details nicked a month ago there were a few smallish purchases, then a $1649 online purchase from Best Buy. At the time I had assumed they tried to buy a high end TV, but now that I think about it, if they were smart they went for a few iPhones or GS3s.

Ancient thumb-driven whirly-wheel smartmobe UI ported to Android

DougS Silver badge

Looks nice for menus

But what percentage of our time on a smartphone is spent navigating menus? I probably spend most of my time scrolling and reading, which this interface doesn't alter. After that the next most common activity is typing, and its hard to imagine a way of using a radial menu with a single thumb would provide a better typing experience, but as I haven't tried it I guess I can't say for sure.

It may well be a better interface in certain situations, but if it only makes a difference 1% of the time I'm using a smartphone it is like Swype - looks really cool, but doesn't make any difference in how efficiently you use a phone.

Samsung sends gigabit '5G' signal TWO WHOLE KILOMETRES

DougS Silver badge

Lots of problems with 28GHz, or even 11 GHz.

The 11GHz band Docomo used and the 28 GHz band Samsung used is the range where DBS satellite signals are broadcast. As has been pointed out, water will attenuate these high frequency signals (that's why you will see "rain fade" as a heavy storm moves in, often before a single drop falls) But consider that satellite signals must have CLEAR line of sight. You can't install a dish aimed through a tree, the leaves of even a small tree will massively attenuate your signal.

Granted, the satellite is 22,000 miles further away than the cell tower, so the incoming signal is far far weaker, on the other hand you don't use a half meter dish on your phone as an antenna, either. So not only will getting a signal indoors present problems, even getting a signal standing up a tree could be an issue.

Yeah I know, you can install local boosters all over the place to avoid these problems, but who is going to pay for all that, just to get 5G data rates instead of 4G? The use case for 4G is pretty clear - you can stream video to your phone, and web pages download almost instantly (well, they would if it wasn't for all the back and forth in the protocol, but the actual download is a fraction of a second at 4G speed) What's the use case for 5G? Multiple 4K video streams to a device with a 4-6" screen? Ummm, sure....

The 2km spacing of the towers is also going to be a problem in the US. The reason why AT&T's 3G coverage sucked/sucks in the US was because GSM requires small cells and getting permission to put up towers all over the place has been a huge problem for them. Verizon's CDMA technology had a much larger cell size and thus they were able to cover an area with far fewer towers than AT&T required.

Between the inability to pass through anything and the tiny cells, 5G, at least in the form mentioned in the article, will never come to the US except in very limited areas. The most densely populated areas also have lots of tall buildings. If you're walking down the street and turn the corner you might lose the tower you were communicating with. Or if you step under a cloth awning. Or get behind a streetlight (high frequency signals are VERY directional)

I'm pretty skeptical we'll ever make use of such high frequency bands for mobile communication. Not that this will stop carriers from screaming FIVE G!!!! from the rooftops :)

Microsoft honcho pleads with media: 'Stop picking on us!'

DougS Silver badge

Re: Frankly Mr. Shaw....

But at any rate, yes, Windows 8 does have its good points. I won't deny that. I use it on a laptop that is six years old and it is pretty snappy. Kudos to Microsoft for allowing aging kit like that to run a modern OS.


Why is that impressive or worthy of kudos? Windows 8 is the NT 6.2 kernel. Vista was the NT 6.0 kernel. So machines six years ago, designed for Vista, can run something that is in some ways Vista SP2. Really no more impressive than XP SP3 running on a laptop designed when Windows 2000 came out.

If it could run on hardware not really designed for Vista, or if whatever OS contains NT 7.0 can run well on Vista/7/8 era hardware, then I'll be impressed.

Stroke my sexy see-through backside, says Jobs from BEYOND THE GRAVE

DougS Silver badge

Water/dirt through the holes

Liquid water can't enter through the holes, the surface tension is far too high, but of course moisture in the air would be able to. Not sure about dirt. Nothing we human scale people think of as dirt would fit, but dirt particles too small to see would. I just don't get why you seem to think this is an issue.

Don't you think the volume buttons on a current iPhone offer a MUCH easier path for moisture and dirt to get inside? Nevermind how easy it is for dirt to get inside any phone where the back comes off to replace the battery, it isn't as though that hermetically seals when you snap the back on. Or all the other openings phones have for charging, headphones, SIM cards, SD cards and so on. Yeah, let's all worry about the micron sized holes!

Apple wins documents fight with Google in Samsung case

DougS Silver badge

Re: earch engines that grew out of them but basically, they returned poor results,

Altavista used to do a pretty good job, back before Google existed. Unfortunately it was VERY easy to game the system and move your page up in the rankings, so Altavista became crowded with spam. It was more difficult to game Google, so it took off versus the spam infested Altavista.

Of course for years now Google has been constantly battling spam, and there are plenty of obviously bogus pages that show up in the first page for many many searches I do - especially if I'm searching for a particular product by the product number. It is amazing how many sites you can find that "sell" something that just link back to Amazon or Ebay!

If something new came out in the search world, that wasn't necessarily better but had a learned curve to figure out how to game, it would be spam free and quickly take a lot of search market share. It is probably not very easy for someone to get funding if their pitch starts with "my business will compete with both Google AND Microsoft!"

DougS Silver badge

Re: what is apple looking for?

Presumably emails to/from Samsung or minutes of meetings between Samsung and Google people and internal Google emails/discussions concerning those emails/minutes. The suit in question concerns Samsung specific changes to Android, and isn't directed at standard Android features.

The information from the Samsung discovery pointed to such back and forth between Google and Samsung, Apple wants to see what happened on Google's end. Did they tell Samsung not to do certain things because they thought they'd violate Apple patents? Did they consider inclusion of such features in Android and reject them for fear of violating Apple patents? That sort of thing.

If you ignore for a moment one's feelings about the merits of Apple's case, or software/design patents in general, and look at it as merely a patent case between company A and company B, where company A's discovery of company B found there were discussions with company C that may have a great bearing on the case, it is quite proper that company A would be allowed access to this. They can't go on a wild fishing expedition looking at anything and everything, but given that they are looking for specific stuff that have a bearing on the case, they're entitled to know how the search for that specific stuff was conducted.

Thongs of praise: Slip on Japan's skimpy mobe knickers

DougS Silver badge

Mega is "ridiculous", but not the Note?

Hadn't heard of those 2, they are ridiculous, especially the Mega.

The idea that anyone who owns a Note feels they can call slightly larger phones "ridiculous" seems pretty hypocritical. I think the Note is ridiculous, but you'd probably tell me "you wouldn't say that if you owned one" or somesuch. Maybe you'd get used to the Mega after using it for a bit.

I continue to find it amusing how phones keep getting bigger, while tablets keep getting smaller. This tells me there's a certain class of buyer who don't want to own both a tablet and a smartphone, but have one device that covers both uses. For that, even the Mega's 6.3" display isn't as large as it could be if you want to maximize its usefulness as a tablet. So don't be surprised if there isn't an even larger Mega II offered down the road.

3D printed gun plans pulled after US State Department objects

DougS Silver badge

Re: The difference?

Besides a bullet sets off a metal detector all by itself, even without a firearm.

Does it? I thought more metal than a single bullet was required?

Regardless, they could be hidden in a big ass belt buckle, inside a laptop with aluminum shell, etc. that you send through the X-ray while you walk through the metal detector just fine. You simply need to surround the bullets with enough other metal that they don't look like bullets to a the half awake low paid guy watching the X ray machine's monitor.

This is probably more a concern for people bringing weapons into schools, courthouses or federal buildings to kill someone up close than it is for someone bringing it on a plane. As someone already pointed out, the guys in congress may be up in arms about this as much because they realize the cranks who send them death threats would have a better chance to actually carry them out if they can bring a one shot gun into the Capitol building for a "meeting" with their congressman. The range and aim on these one shot guns may be terrible, but if you're close enough to shake hands...

Airplanes are just not a real concern as far as another 9/11 is concerned like some people seem to believe. In today's world a hijacker successfully bringing a gun onto a plane, even a normal pistol with 15 shot clip wouldn't allow him to do another 9/11. At best he could kill a few people. Depending on how reinforced the cockpit doors are, maybe he could get "lucky" and kill the pilot and copilot by shooting through the door, and kill everyone on board, but he'd have no control over where the plane goes down. But that's with a real gun, with this one shot plastic toy he'd be lucky to kill one person before he was stomped into unrecognizable pulp by the dozen nearest men and mothers traveling with children.

Larry Ellison forks out over $200m to slurp up sexy Malibu strip

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hmm

Who knows what Ellison will do his money after he dies? Most of his wealth is in Oracle stock, so it is obvious why he doesn't want to donate massive sums today - he wants to remain the largest stockholder by a wide margin to retain full control. Maybe he'll leave everything to his children, but maybe not. Why does philanthropy need to be done on your timeline, rather than his?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hmm

Buying property is just transferring wealth. He's putting it into someone else's hands in exchange for their property, so then it becomes up to them whether or not the money eventually goes towards a worthy cause or not.

Buying property is probably one of the best uses you can put wealth to, because the property will always be there. It will never wear out or go bad (well, unless California has a REALLY big earthquake) On the other end of the scale would be things like hookers, blow, bottle service at a nightclub, or an entourage of questionable characters - you know, the things a typical celebrity wastes their wealth on.

Larry may be wasteful when he's buying a bigger yacht because his ego demands the biggest one in the world, but leave him alone when he's buying property. That's about as close to doing charity before he's dead (or at least retired) as we'll ever see him get.

Ban Samsung sales in the US? Sorry, Apple: Tech titans say 'No'

DougS Silver badge

Re: The only people getting any "reward" are...

Doubtful. Even at $500/hr the legal costs are trivial versus the sales generated by the products at issue, and companies like Apple and Samsung have for all practical purposes infinitely deep pockets. It would however be a huge problem in a legal fight between a big player and a much smaller one.

Boffins' invisible magnetic ring pieces: Next-gen mobe emitters

DougS Silver badge

Re: Not that I've got anything against blue sky research

Transmitters are now much larger. Yeah, more than one can be put on a chip, but you need multiple chips if you want to broadcast on all the various worldwide bands. That's one of the reasons why you can't get a LTE worldphone today, let alone in the future when everyone is on LTE. With this you could (assuming they can work out something as small for the receivers)

German court: 'Nein' to Apple 'global consent' on fanbois' privacy

DougS Silver badge

Re: Only Apple?

What I find most remarkable is that Germany seems to be worried about this moreso than countries that supposedly value freedom, like the United States. Maybe the experience of having a dictator rise up and take absolute power within the living memory of some of its residents has something to do with that. I guess people in the US would probably have been more concerned about this if we'd only won independence from the British in WWII.

New 'BLOCKBUSTER' APPLE iTHING imminent - billionaire Einhorn

DougS Silver badge

Re: Am I just cynical?

“growing customer base" and "growing portfolio of Apple products”

Though you may wish otherwise, Apple still sells more iPhones every year than they did the previous year, so their share of the global mobile phone market is still growing. Their share is declining when measured against smartphones as a whole, but given how fast the low end of the smartphone market (the sub $100 phones mostly made in China) is growing, I'll bet the GS4 will also have a smaller share of the worldwide smartphone market as compared to GS3.

As for the "growing portfolio", yeah, other than the iPad Mini they have had pretty much the same products available since the iPad was introduced, with newer versions simply replacing older versions of the same product. That's really more of a complaint that stock analysts make, because they seem to think Apple has a magic bag they can pull another iPhone or iPad out of, and the fact they haven't had anything like that for three years indicates that Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs and thus we should all assume Apple will never have another blockbuster product, ever.

Over ONE-THIRD of PCs will have SSDs in 2017 - analyst

DougS Silver badge

Only 1/3?

Given that the cheapest SSD can be made cheaper than the cheapest hard drive, which have a limit of about $50 in production cost regardless of size, I should think SSDs would be nearly universal by 2017. Hard drives will be something people add as a second drive, not used for primary storage at all.

Queen's Speech: 'Problem of matching IP addresses' to be probed

DougS Silver badge

Seeing inside an SSH/SSL link

Only the issuer of the certificate/key can see inside the link - that would include the possibility that those who issue SSL certificates like Verisign are cooperating with various governments. If you must use a properly issued certificate rather than self-signed and want to minimize the chance your own government can decrypt your traffic, you might want to choose a CA based in a country that's on less than friendly terms with your own. In the US we might want to see if there are any options in Venezuela, for instance. In the UK, you're probably pretty safe if you can find an Argentinian CA :)

You can't ever discount the possibility that the NSA and their friends in the UK have broken the encryption scheme you're using, but even if they have done so, the decryption won't be free, so it couldn't be done en masse unless they're so far ahead they have working quantum supercomputers. Assuming they can't do it for everyone, they'd have to take a special interest in you to decrypt your traffic. If they do, you probably have much bigger problems than insecure encryption once they send a black bag squad over to bug your computers, your house, your car, and your cat.

Even if the NSA doesn't decrypt your traffic in real time, that doesn't mean some of it isn't getting saved somewhere so it can be decrypted later just as the Boston investigation has proven phone calls to be.

The worries about your place of your decrypting your traffic are nil. If you're accessing your home SSH server or email server using self signed/created certificates, they can't possibly do this. Nothing stops them from having keylogger software on your work issued computer, of course, so if you're paranoid about this, you may want to inquire about their BYOD policy :)

The Metro experiment is dead: Time to unleash Windows Phone+

DougS Silver badge


Is just fine for a phone, even at 5 inches. Just because some devices do 1080p doesn't mean they need to. Retina got a lot of publicity because it was a big and easily noticeable change - 4x more pixels at once. But that doesn't mean that more is always better, and that going from 720(ish)p to 1080p is necessary. It certainly wouldn't cost MS anything to support 1080p in the future, but it is hardly holding back WP8.

What is holding it back is probably apps, lack of phablet sized phones (which is Nokia's fault, not Microsoft's) and most importantly consumer perception of Windows. A lot of people (even, or perhaps especially) Windows users don't like it and/or Microsoft, or may in the least actively seek out alternatives to see if the grass is greener on the Apple or Google side of the fence.

Microsoft marketers seem to live in a bubble where they believe everyone who owns a Windows PC actively made the choice for Windows, and all they need to do to be successful in the mobile market is come out with products that have that familiar Windows name on them. At least the Xbox team was smart enough to not damage it by attaching the Windows brand to it.

Senate passes Marketplace Fairness Act by wide margin

DougS Silver badge

They'll just go offshore

Leave the buying of stuff with overnight delivery to Amazon and other US companies - those people are less price sensitive anyway. Have a warehouse in Baja to serve California and the SW, Vancouver to serve the NW, across the Rio Grande for Texas and the south, and in Windsor and Niagara to serve the midwest and northeast.

A law that lets states collect sales tax on stuff sold to people in other states doesn't do any good if you have a company that's based in Canada, Mexico or maybe even Hong Kong (most of the stuff comes from China in the first place, that might make the best HQ)

The brick and mortar places still won't be helped, but they'll be hurting Amazon and all the other online retailers in the US who have been helped by giving most customers an automatic 7% or so savings.

EC: Motorola abused its patents in Apple iPhone spat

DougS Silver badge


I hadn't meant to imply that you'd have to give free cross licensing, but that if company A owns a standards essential patent and company B owns some minor look and feel patent, that as part of company B gaining access to A's SEP company B must agree to license their patents used in the same product back to company A.


Who defines what a "minor" look and feel patent is? There are a lot of very minor SEP patents covered by FRAND. If Boeing uses h.264 in the Dreamliner, and it turns out Airbus contributed one patent to that standard that is FRAND licensed, should Airbus be able to copy the Dreamliner's wing shape (I have no idea if it is patented, let's just assume there is something special about it and therefore is patented)

Your solution takes a bad patent system and makes it worse. If companies don't like the outcome when the court tells them they can't use FRAND patents in a way that isn't "F"air, "R"easonable or "N"on "D"iscriminatory, they are free to not join in future standards efforts. The reason large companies in the tech field always join standards efforts is because the benefits outweigh the costs.

DougS Silver badge


No company will sign up for that, because a cross license essentially means that your competition can use everything you invent for free, and vice versa. The companies with big patent portfolios like say a Nokia aren't going to want to do a cross license deal with some upstart who has nothing to offer in return, but your idea would force them to do so if they want to have any access to standards patents. Where is the incentive to spend a lot of money inventing anything if all of your competitors can immediately take the idea you worked on and use it for free?

If dumb stuff is getting patented and clogging up the courts, the solution isn't to let everyone use everyone else's patents for free. The solution is to fix the patent system. You just like your idea better because it is easy to implement, and fixing the patent system is hard, but the unintended consequences make your solution much worse than just continuing on with things they way they are today.

NORKS powers down whole towns to find pirates

DougS Silver badge

Re: Surely that's untrue?

Or perhaps they just use this as a convenient excuse for why the power for the whole town just went out.

Google Glass eye-cam to turn us all into right little winkers

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hmm...

You wouldn't need to shine a bright visible light, a bright IR light should do just fine as most CCDs are sensitive to ranges of IR light that are invisible to human eyes. Perhaps the anti-Glass defense will be people wearing glasses, necklaces, whatever that emit a very powerful IR light that causes their entire face to be a washed out blob to the glasshole. It'd raise hell with your TV remote, however :)

Japan's XP migration solution: Remove network cable

DougS Silver badge

Taped up

They say taped up, but unless someone here speaks fluent Japanese and can translate the original article, who knows what it actually said. Maybe they intend to fill the jacks with epoxy. Not that this stops someone from using a USB NIC.

On the other hand, the article also says the PCs will be prevented from accessing the "interwebs". Maybe they'll still be on a network, but the subnet they're on will be firewalled off from the internet? Perhaps that was what someone translated (probably with Google Translate or something similarly useless) to "taped up".

That seems like a more reasonable solution to be able to actually do productive work on these machines, while still making it very hard for any malware that might find their way onto them to leak information back onto the internet. Attackers would have to content themselves with destroying data, etc. which would probably only serve to hasten the migration off these artifacts running an OS more recent (I was going to say "from this decade" until I remembered Windows 7 is from the previous decade)

Smaller, second-gen Surface slabs to arrive in June?

DougS Silver badge

It's funny

And interesting how smartphones have been trending bigger and bigger lately, and tablets have been trending smaller and smaller. Samsung's experience with bigger and bigger phones selling better and better ,and Apple's experience with the 7.9" Mini beating the 9.7" iPad in sales seem to indicate this, at least.

Will the two eventually meet at 6.x inches and converge into a single device? Maybe Microsoft should try to beat everything there with a 6.66" Surface Phone.

You know why I used this icon.

Forget choice: 50% of firms will demand you BYOD by 2017

DougS Silver badge

Re: but what about....

The US requires you to declare worldwide income. The same is not true in all countries. Or in the US, if you're able to successfully have an offshore holding company that the IRS doesn't know about and leave the lease profits offshore for life, to invest in say a nice beachside villa, or entire island, depending on how big your offshore holding company is.

Reg boffins: Help us answer this Big Blue RAID data recovery poser

DougS Silver badge

Rather than try to understand this math to save a parity drive

I think I'll go with dual parity 14+2 RAID and at least understand how the data protection is working so I can enjoy my beer instead of stressing out wondering if the proof has a math error somewhere that will require a team of PhD's to uncover...

FONDLESLAB market DEATH STRUGGLE: Latest rankings in

DougS Silver badge

Ignore the fanboy arguments for a second and consider this

This survey reports that Microsoft had 1.8% of the tablet market. Strategy Analytics earlier this week announced Microsoft with 7.4% share of the tablet market. How useful is the data these research firms are reporting when the figures for the same quarter vary that wildly?

The only number both have in common is the number of Apple shipments, 19.5 million. That's also the EXACT number that Apple reported in their earnings announcement. No coincidence that, I'm sure. I wonder what their own figures had Apple at before they fudged their numbers to fit into Apple's actual sales totals? The reason why they both released this week was because they KNOW they'd look foolish if they released prior to Apple's earnings announcement, and everyone saw how inaccurate their figures really are!

If they can miss that wildly on Microsoft's total (and obviously at least one of them is wildly off on that total given the difference between the two) then why should we trust any numbers they're giving us? Maybe Apple has 39.6%. Maybe they have 60%. Maybe they have 25%. How do we know?

Apple designer Sir Jony Ive holding up iOS 7 development: Report

DougS Silver badge

Re: Its all a stock manipulation scheme

Shows how little you know about markets. Apple is actually making well over a billion dollars from this buyback, even if the stock price never moves at all. How? Because they're currently paying about a 3% dividend, but borrowing money at about 2% to buy back stock. Every share they buy back is one they no longer have to pay dividends to. The whole thing is in essence no different than if you had a 3% mortgage and refinanced it at 2%. You'd be an idiot not to take that deal, so why shouldn't Apple?

The fact that that they might save money on taxes by not bringing overseas money into the US (if the tax laws are changed or a new "tax holiday" happens) is potential icing on the cake. Who knows what the odds are but just about every large company in the US with any significant overseas earnings is playing the same game, that's why US corporations have record holdings of over $2 trillion in cash these days

One can of course argue that this is unfair, immortal, etc. or that "everyone is doing it" is not an excuse, but the way US securities laws work, if a company like Apple brought in $100 billion in overseas cash, paid ~$25 billion in taxes on it, and then next year another corporate tax holiday was passed taxing repatriated money at only 10%, meaning Apple threw away $25 billion by not waiting a year, they'd be subject to shareholder lawsuits for breach of fiduciary duty. The suits may not be successful, but a CFO/CEO wouldn't want to take a chance on that. Passing that first corporate tax holiday was a huge mistake, because companies will wait forever hoping for another bite of the apple (small 'a')

Why next iPhone screen could be made of SAPPHIRE - and a steal...

DougS Silver badge

Re: Sapphire glass is already in use on the iPhone

I agree the fact Apple already uses sapphire in the iPhone 5 makes it more likely that Apple uses it for the screen than anyone else. On the other hand Apple has a deal with the maker of Liquid Metal giving them an exclusive license in the field of consumer devices and used it for the SIM tool a couple phones ago....and nothing since.

Just because they used it for the camera lens doesn't mean they'll find it practical to use it for the screen. Remember the complaints about the purple tint in photos showing up at certain angles? Yep, the sapphire's responsible. Apple is big on very accurate color reproduction on their displays, they would have to find a way around this before they'd consider using it for their display glass.

It would be interesting if they went to a Liquid Metal body and sapphire screen. The entire phone would be essentially scratchproof, though the screen itself would likely be not all that much different in shatter resistance than glass, nor would the body be wildly less susceptible to dents than the aluminum used in the iPhone 5. There is unfortunately typically a relationship between the hardness of a material and its resistance to shattering. If you want something to not shatter, you want it to be flexible, not stiff. Flexible things typically will either dent or scratch depending on the type of flexibility. If they're flexible but spring back then they're the kind of thing more likely to shatter due to fatigue. Kind of a vicious material circle.

Scratchproof, shatterproof AND dent proof? Not going to happen. There will never be a perfect material for cell phone screens or bodies that is both resistant to scratches from typical use (pockets, purses and the things normally kept within) as well as able to survive a drop from ear height onto concrete without scratches or dents from all likely impact angles. Well, shouldn't say never, nanotechnology may save the day, but we haven't found anything yet that can do this, even at the "crazy rich guy" end of the spectrum, let alone the "we can build it for $200-ish and sell it for $600-ish" range that iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S* play in.

Samsung Galaxy chip confusion halts bonking plastered apps

DougS Silver badge

Re: Selling point

If they have a directional bluetooth antenna they do.

NFC "solves" the problem by being so short range (assuming you follow the spec and use low power) that if the G sensors detect a "bump" odds are high that the only thing you see is the thing you bumped. Try bumping a S3 against a second S3 with a third S3 a half inch away from both that bumps into something else and see if it is as guaranteed as you think it is, or it is only an artifact of NFC's shorter range as compared to bluetooth.

This argument is rather like saying that wifi is superior to LTE because if you're on a given wifi network one can narrow down the location of a phone much better versus being on a particular LTE cell tower.

Brit horologist hammers out ‘first’ ATOMIC-POWERED watch

DougS Silver badge

Re: Where is the market for an accurate watch?

Sorry, you're a fool if you think a wristwatch, ANY wristwatch, even a watch that has an atomic clock inside, is more accurate than a device synced with NTP. Go look up the specs for NTP and then tell me honestly that even if you have an infinitely accurate watch that there is any way you can actually SET that watch more accurately than NTP will set your phone.

Even if it is accurate to one part in a billion billion billion billion if you set it a hundredth of a second off (which you'd be doing quite well to manage) it is still off by more than a NTP synced device, and it will remain always off by that hundredth of a second until the heat death of the universe.

DougS Silver badge

Where is the market for an accurate watch?

These days, most people already carry a device with them that tells them the time accurate to within a fraction of a second. The wearing of a watch as a device simply to tell time, so necessary a few decades ago, is no longer practiced. Those who wear watches today wear them for fashion, and don't really care all that much about its accuracy as a timepiece.

'Chinese' attack sucks secrets from US defence contractor

DougS Silver badge

HB Gary?

Seriously, they hired THOSE fools to deal with security? Do they not remember how incompetent they were proven to be? Do they not have Google? Did they also hire Fox, Inc. to deal with security for Henhouse & Co.?

Yeah, not surprised, just wondering why the idiots at QinetQ who make decisions like this should be trusted with secrets more readily than the Chinese, Mossad or Al Qaeda?

Security cameras leak credentials, live video

DougS Silver badge

Sometimes a private network is the only answer

I always assume any such gear is inherently insecure no matter who makes it or what their claims are, and insure it is on an isolated network. If you have a web server on the same VLAN as the cameras, you deserve what you get.

Ultra-hackable Google Glass could be a security nightmare

DougS Silver badge

How does the fact the battery will drain quickly protect you?

I know plenty of people who have all sorts of different makes and models of phones who complain that their battery life has recently become much worse. Are they supposed to jump to the conclusion that someone hacked it and they are being spied upon? Or the more likely conclusions of it being:

1) buggy software

2) battery getting old

3) in their head

If you hack it, presumably you don't have it recording video all the time if the battery (and memory) won't last long enough. Depending on your goals, you may have it only record audio/video during certain circumstances. If your goal is corporate espionage, perhaps it only records video while connected to the office wireless. If you suspect your spouse of cheating, you don't need constant video, one pic every few minutes or so would be sufficient to tell where they are and who they are with at all times.

Another negative climate feedback: Warmer plants cool the planet

DougS Silver badge

@Anon 17:32

It isn't belief in AGW (or in God) that makes it "religious", it is belief where nothing contrary to one's belief is given any consideration because it is obviously wrong. You can't argue the existence of God with a fundamentalist any more than you can argue the existence of gravity with a physicist. A fundamentalist assumes the existence of God. It is likewise with people who have a religious belief in AGW, they assume it is happening, the only questions left to ask are how bad will it get and what steps can be taken to minimize its impact.

That's not to say there aren't plenty of people who strongly believe in AGW, but leave open the possibility that it could be wrong. However, it is still pointless to debate with them, because unless they are a climate scientist, their argument is eventually based on appeal to authority. They are not qualified to argue the facts and methods when even climate scientists who have spend decades studying this can't always agree on the facts (correctness of temperature records) and methods (models used to predict future climate)

Those do not accept AGW are similarly unable to argue the facts and methods, and the only defense to an appeal to authority is providing past examples of groupthink that turned out badly. That's why arguments over AGW not involving climate scientists tend to reach a stalemate rather quickly.

Apple: You thought Google dodged taxes? Get a load of THIS

DougS Silver badge

Re: re: Google and Microsoft have already done this

Apparently they did, or you wouldn't have something to link to :) I know, I know, you meant "at the Reg"...

DougS Silver badge

Google and Microsoft have already done this

Apple is far from the only US company employing this strategy. Google and Microsoft have both issued debt in recent years, despite having tens of billions of cash on their own balance sheets. Apple is just doing it bigger.

FWIW, they won't be paying 35% to bring it back. They'll get a tax credit for taxes they've already paid overseas, though they can't take that credit until they bring the cash back. If you look carefully at their financials they've got many billions in future credits built up in taxes they've already paid on that overseas cash. The actual rate they pay is different for different 'piles', depending on where it was earned and what taxes have already been paid on it. I remember seeing some estimate a couple years back that they'd have to pay 23% on their overseas cash when it was brought back. That is likely a bit different now since the mix of countries where they earn the most has changed over the years.

Budweiser's bonkable Buddy Cup brings Facebook to the pub

DougS Silver badge

Re: What a great idea!

Plus you can find out what someone's name is even if they don't want to tell you. You can bonk to get the friend request sent, then you can check your Facebook to see the name of the person to whom you just sent a request.

And stalkers everywhere rejoiced and gave thanks to Budweiser.

DougS Silver badge

What a great idea!

So some smartass will go around and bump his cup with that of everyone he passes whether they want him to or not, and everyone will get a friend request from the biggest drunk jackass in the bar.

Good plan, Budweiser. Maybe for an encore you can sell t-shirts that have a target on the back that says "puke here".

BlackBerry CEO: Tablets will be dead in 5 years

DougS Silver badge

What a shock

The CEO of a company that has no real presence in a market they tried and failed to enter announces that market will be dead in five years.

Maybe Ballmer should try that. Instead of banging his head against the wall trying to make a smartphone people actually want, he should announce the smartphone will be dead in five years. Then maybe people will quit paying attention to Apple, Google and Samsung and start talking about PCs again!

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