* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Is this the first ever web page? If not, CERN would like to know

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Trollface

Took about a minute to load

Are they running it on 1992 hardware to be more authentic?

IBM storage crew: Why bury your BEST kit at the back of the larder?

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@Anon 16:25

XIV had a cost advantage to go with its "high capacity slow HDDs" strategy a few years ago, before SSDs. It was competing against arrays using 15k rpm drives. Now it is competing against tiered storage using SSDs for hot blocks and high capacity slow HDDs for everything else (at least for those who have done performance testing and found that using a middle tier of 15k rpm drives is pointless versus spending that money on more SSDs) Today, XIV's cost advantage is gone.

True, XIV has faster rebuilds but it would not be a viable product any other way. If the rebuilds were slow you'd have a much longer time where you'd be exposed to the risk of data loss from the failure of the second drive. In practice, the risk is pretty small because the rebuild is so quick, but if you use double parity RAID you don't care so much how long the rebuild takes because you can tolerate three drive failures before you lose data. If you want much faster rebuilds in a RAID environment, there's no reason the array firmware couldn't grab some of the SSD tier and use that as a temporary spare because it can write data far more quickly than a hard drive. Should be pretty quick if you are using a fairly wide set like 14+2. Then leisurely copy the data off the SSDs onto the spare.

The only place where XIV's faster rebuilds are a real advantage is when comparing with single parity RAID, but there's no reason to use that in an array that supports double parity unless it is less critical data where saving a bit on the storage makes sense.

Fanbois vs fandroids: Punters display 'tribal loyalty'

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This is where you get the difference in Apple/Android satisfaction

I would hazard a guess that the satisfaction of iPhone owners compared to the satisfaction of GS3 or other similarly priced Android phones is much closer than the overall iPhone/Android satisfaction they quote here. That's precisely because low end Android phones are far more likely to result in dissatisfied customers (as would low end iPhones if Apple made such a thing)

Some will be dissatisfied and still buy Android because that's the only game in town for a cheap smartphone and they don't see why anyone would spend the kind of money Apple, Samsung or Nokia are asking for their premium products. Others will go to the higher end in search of a better phone, but because of their distasteful initial experience with Android they are far more likely to switch platforms than owners of higher end Android phones who had a better experience.

The theory behind people who believe Android will eventually become like Windows and Apple will be relegated to a tiny niche as with the Mac is that people buying cheap Androids will become tied to the platform and eventually buy more expensive Androids. The issues that pushed almost the entire PC market towards Windows 15-20 years ago don't exist on smartphones. No one has an Android-only workplace, or finds that many of the websites they regularly visit work only on the Android browser. There is no domination on the application side - even today developers earn more on the iOS side than the Android side, which is why most apps still come out for iOS first.

If you ignore the "smartphone" market share numbers and look at the overall mobile market share you can see where things are going. Apple is around or a bit under 10% there worldwide, and are unlikely to grow that much - the high end smartphone market is pretty much saturated. The half of the market that is non-smartphone will all be smartphone in a few years, at which point Apple will have only 10% of the worldwide smartphone market. The Android fans will think they've won, but what will they win?

Few of those new customers buying on the low end have any value. They contribute market share, but result in little additional revenue for Google or the OEM who sells them their phone, because they buy few apps and don't use the phone as a smartphone nearly as much as high end buyers (so Google shows them far fewer ads) Many of them will never be rich enough to afford an iPhone or GS3 class phone, or even if they can/will, wouldn't think it is worth it. A small percentage of them will be both upwardly mobile and willing to spend on a high end smartphone, but the less positive initial experience they get from Android will make it harder for Android to keep them.

Android would actually be better off if FirefoxOS succeeds at undercutting Android at the low end and starts taking all those first time smartphone buyers, so they can have the bad experience there and upgrade to an Android later.

Another negative climate feedback: Warmer plants cool the planet

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Re: Albedo

Heat from man made sources? Are you serious????

You really have no idea of how minuscule the output of heat from man made sources is compared to the heat the Earth receives from the Sun, or even the heat due to tidal forces from the Moon, do you?

Google to Glass devs: 'Duh! Go ahead, hack your headset'

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Joke

Re: Love it.

Fine. I'll let you debug it, and receive a $1.09 class action settlement check from Larry Page when it makes you crosseyed :)

LG beats Samsung to OLED flexi-TV with hella pricey 55-incher

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What is the use case for this?

If you want to fit your TV snugly in a corner? I'm sure some people with more money than sense will buy it because they think it'll be cool to show off to their friends, but beyond that who wants a TV that can bend? At least a phone that bends enough to fold over would provide some benefit, but a TV??

I'd happily buy a 55" OLED if they didn't cost as much as a car.

Combover King Donald Trump: 'I miss Steve Jobs'

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Devil

"Should be slightly larger than the Samsung screen"

Same size as isn't good enough? Everything always has to be bigger for the Donald. Makes one wonder what he's trying to compensate for?

Canadian TV station wails: NFC bonking... it's not SAFE

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Re: NFC is evil, until...

No, if Apple releases a phone with NFC, they'll probably do something different to improve the security and/or make it more convenient. Like replacing typing in a PIN with a thumbprint on the home button (not that fingerprints are particularly secure, as the Mythbusters and many others have demonstrated) Apple haters will wail and moan about Apple not following standards, ignoring that there are multiple competing NFC pay by bonk standards, as well as complain that Apple is trying to lock in its users and make jokes about Apple charging 30% for all NFC transactions. Now I'm sure there will be some Apple fanboys who claim however Apple does NFC is superior to the Android implementations and give Apple credit for it if NFC takes off after Apple supported it, but what do you expect from fanboys? Certainly not logic.

I still maintain NFC is a solution looking for a problem, and "pay by bonk" offers nothing over bonking a card, or swiping a card for that matter. The "not having to carry a wallet" is silly, unless you think that you'll be able to use your phone as a driver's license anytime soon, or that others who want proof of identity will accept a picture of your license (like the picture of my medical insurance card I have in my phone so I don't have to remember to bring it when I visit the doctor) Good luck buying a beer that way.

Companies that promote NFC do so because they think they can get a small cut from trillions in purchases, but there are so many players who hope to claim a piece of that pie that the processors must either accept less than they get today (fat chance) or merchants must accept a bigger hit for processing NFC transactions (again, fat chance, absent legislation that forces it down their throats)

Those supporting NFC today just do it because there is a certain segment of people who think it is "cool", not because it is actually any better at all over existing payment methods. Apple haters promote it only because iPhones can't do it, many of them will quickly lose interest in it if/when Apple products ever support it and go back to complaining about the lack of SD or removable battery.

Can't find your motor? Apple patents solve car park conundrums

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Re: optional

However if you're mugged and the mugger takes your car keys, he won't know where your car is parked.

On the other hand, which would you prefer? That your mugger take off with your phone and be able to locate, open and start your car, or that your mugger take your wallet, keys and phone and then points his gun at your head and says "show me where your car is?"

If I'm going to be mugged, I'd prefer to give him everything he needs to complete the mugging as efficiently as possible. Better to be left without a car than become a hostage should the police interrupt me showing him where I've parked.

Microsoft hoists ZTE onto the Android patent bandwagon

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Re: Not Android

It isn't FAT that Microsoft claims patents on (such patents would be long expired) but vFAT, the mangling of long file names to fit into an 8.3 format.

It probably deserves a patent, because it sure as hell isn't obvious to someone skilled in the art. No one in their right mind would invent such an abomination!

Huawei: 'We're not interested in US market'

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Re: Huawei: 'We're not interested in US market'

China reaped what it sowed. Part of the reason they've been advancing so fast is via state-sponsored industrial espionage. Or, if not state sponsored, at least the state looked the other way. Some of that espionage was conducted via exactly the means the US claimed they were worried Huawei would be doing.

Maybe they are a good corporate citizen (well, no worse than the corporations in the US, Europe, Japan and Korea at any rate) and wouldn't allow their products to be "bugged" when inserted into US networks, but the fact that sort of thing had happened in the past and China didn't do anything to stop it means that Chinese companies who could legitimately beat out American ones in the US marketplace won't get a fair shake for quite some time.

Hacked AP tweet claiming White House explosion causes Dow dip

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Re: How dumb those Wall Street guys can be...

The problem isn't that the market "lost" money during that time, it is that people who happened to place market orders during that time got unfairly screwed. Yeah, I know, place limit orders instead to eliminate that risk, but you shouldn't have to pay more to do a limit order on a normally highly liquid stock just in case the market freezes due to a flash crash type problem.

The fix is to limit the profitability of HFT in some way. Either a transaction tax, higher taxes on ultra-short term capital gains, or if you don't want taxation as a fix, require automated trading systems leave orders open for a minimum length of time.

Apple beats revenue estimates but margins are falling

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@JetSetJim

What you're saying is true on the margins, but when you have a truly massive pile of cash, one far behind any that you could actually use for any investments in your business, much of that cash counts for $0 in Wall Street's mind because of the danger it represents. Making so much money you don't know what to do with it is great, until you realize they really don't know what to do with it. The buyback gives them something to do with it (well, part of it) and limits the risk they do something stupid with it, like make some huge acquisition to enter a new market, or just because they thought it was a good idea at the time.

Not that there was ever really all that much risk of Apple doing so. The largest acquisition they ever made was the $400 million they spent on NeXT in 1997. That's small stuff on the scale of the buyouts that companies like HP and Microsoft have engaged in over the past decade, most of which have turned to shit. On the other hand, for that $400 million Apple got the OS that became OS X and iOS, and got back Steve Jobs who turned the company around. By that measure it must rank as one of the most successful acquisitions in Wall Street history...

Apple fanbois' accidental bonking ruled too obvious by watchdog

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Re: 'Obvious' is an interesting term

Then the question becomes, how round is "round". No book ever had a perfectly sharp 90* corner, though any roundness it had wasn't deliberate. No phone ever had perfectly sharp 90* corners either, but what's the point where someone looks at it and sees/feels the corners as rounded versus squared?

I think the whole rounded corners thing is stupid, but the patent office considers details like that because the degree of rounding, how deliberate it was, why it was done, how it was done manufacturing-wise and design-wise all enter into patents. That's why they're so complex, and so frustrating for us lay people.

The idea of having the touchscreen deactivate when you hold the phone to your face is obvious after the fact just like bounce back scrolling. But until you build a phone and people get annoyed because their high cheekbones keep hitting the mute button, it probably isn't as obvious as people want to believe.

Weak iPad, iPhone demand hits LG Display in the wallet

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Re: just a little innovation

Anyway, with Google bringing out the Glass (no matter what people think it looks like or what it should have looked like) this puts Apple on the back foot for the next big thing.

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Doesn't this rather assume that Google Glass actually turns out to be a real hit in the mass market, rather than a toy popular only among a small segment of geeks? I know which I'd put my money on it being.

Which will be remembered as a bigger innovation for smartphones, the Nokia Communicator or the iPhone? Google may sell the first wearable computing product (depending on whether you consider the "smart" watches you can buy already as being in this market) but it will be the product that first achieves mass appeal that is remembered as the one that changed the market.

I'm not saying Apple will do that, or that they will necessarily even try to compete with Google Glass at all, but Google Glass is not going to be the groundbreaking product a lot of wishful technophile want to believe it will. Perhaps it will be remembered as the Nokia Communicator of the genre, or perhaps it will be a dead end like the Segway.

Nudge nudge, wink wink interface may drive Google Glass

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Re: Moral to attack a wearer ?

Better to find an alternative solution to attack. Maybe wearing glasses that have a bright IR light that will overload the camera on the Google Glasses. I should patent the idea - if enough people find the idea of Google Glasses wearers recording everything all the time a bit creepy (especially if done in bathrooms, locker rooms, around schools, etc.) this idea might catch on, at least for sunglasses. The camera on Google Glasses would become useless anytime they're out in public among very many people, and as a side benefit, you would defeat the face recognition in any fixed CCTV camera you happened to look at.

Facebook to plonk $1.5bn data centre in Iowa - report

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Re: Microsoft already has...

It isn't fucking cold there as much of the year as you may think (or you may live a part of the world where anything below 60F/15C is "fucking cold") If outside temperature was a primary concern, they'd stuck it up in northern Minnesota which also is also centrally located, has plenty of water and inexpensive utility. Being near a body of water large enough (or moving fast enough) so you can dump all your heat into it without negatively affecting it is much better for cooling than relying on outside air to be cool enough for part of the year.

The big draw for Iowa (Google already has a datacenter in Sioux City) is one of the most highly educated populations in the country, with low to moderate cost of living, and a ton of wind energy capacity in western Iowa that allows them to buy renewable energy. These days no one will be caught dead building a huge datacenter using fossil fuel sources. So they locate them near hydro facilities, where wind power is plentiful, or build out their own renewable generation like Apple did in NC.

Supposedly this datacenter will have solar panels and NG fuel cells like Apple's NC datacenter so the early speculation was that this was another Apple datacenter, but these recent leaks appear to peg it as Facebook's.

Ants have careers; you don't want them

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Alien

Re: They Were Tired

I sure hope if aliens come and want to monitor us, they don't stick something weighing 35 lbs on my back!

It's official! Register hack is an alcohol-flushed cave dweller

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Re: Neanderthal DNA

We have 97% of our DNA in common with chimps, but have 0% that originated in that species because we have never inbred with chimpanzees. We have 1-4% of the actual DNA that originated in the Neanderthals because our ancestors interbred with them.

That's not to say a few of our more deviant ancestors didn't try to interbreed with chimps, but if they did, they didn't produce any viable offspring...no matter how often your Uncle Harold scratches his ass.

Google shakes up US utility with green power tariff

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Re: Farm it out

How are they demanding the government do it for them? They basically prodded Duke Energy, which while government regulated, is a private company. If Duke really didn't want to do it, they were under no obligation to do so. But doing so they benefit from the positive publicity that Google is getting on this, and that Apple got for doing all the power generation on site (using solar panels and waste gas from a nearby landfill using Bloom fuel cells)

Actually Apple's plans probably required more government cooperation than Google's, because they had to deal with whoever operates the landfill (assuming it isn't privately owned)

The Reg puts Vulture inside the Large Hadron Collider

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100,000 DVDs worth of data a year

Somehow this makes it sound very unimpressive to me. One could imagine a job that involved feeding blanks to a bank of DVD writers that wrote this amount of data every year. At a bit less than one DVD per minute in a normal workday/year, it wouldn't even be a particular difficult or RSI-inducing job, measured against other types of repetitive task manufacturing jobs, though it would certainly be dull.

I wonder how many DVDs worth of data are contained in a day's worth of SMS texts, let alone a day's worth of Facebook posts. I hope I don't find out, or it'll likely make the LHC's data output sound even less impressive.

Game designer spills beans on chubby-fancying chap with his stolen Mac

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Re: Cops? Ha! I had an entire CAR stolen

Did you have insurance to cover the theft? If not, I can't see why you could be arrested for stealing your own property that is still legally registered to you. If you did, and you don't mind breaking the law a bit to get back at the thief, there's a whole range of options from dumping sugar in the tank to setting it on fire from which you could avail yourself.

If I was in a similar situation and the police basically told me to stuff it, I'd call the local newspapers and TV stations. I'm sure at least one of them would be interested in my story, and while I still might not get the car back, it'd make the police look like the morons they were for doing nothing about a stolen car. You might want to avoid even the slightest infraction for a while if you went that route, police don't like to be called out as morons even (especially) when they are.

Boffins: Tireless star spurted deadly jets for half an hour at a time

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@Destroy All Monsters

Having a (mostly) useless commodity as money is rather silly when you think about it. Gold is money only due to history, and that's probably more due to its malleability, allowing it to be shaped before humans had the ability to work with other metals that had to be melted first.

In today's world energy is money in a much more real sense than gold. Look at the countries that dig up a lot of oil, gas, and coal from the ground, and compare them with countries that dig up a lot of gold. It's clear which you'd rather have a lot of.

Even at today's still bubblicious prices for gold, the value of the oil (just oil, not including gas and coal) produced in three years exceeds the value of all the gold that has ever been mined in the history of the world. Gold bugs would use this as an argument that the price deserves to much higher, but you can't run an industrial economy on gold.

DougS Silver badge

Re: missing a big anomaly

Coal is not an element. If you calculated the same "cube x meters on side" for uranium and other heavier elements you'd come up with a far smaller amount. Not only is it rarer to start with, it decays over time and unlike gold actually has a use we can put it to, rather than most of it only being dug out of the ground so we can then store it back underground in vaults.

DougS Silver badge

Re: missing a big anomaly

As I understand it, some theories hold that in the early universe stars were much more massive because they were formed entirely out of hydrogen. As time goes on there's less pure hydrogen available so stars can't be quite as big. The 1000+ solar mass stars are of the pure hydrogen variety (though 7 billion years ago seems a bit "late", I thought these were in the first few hundred million years after the big bang)

Inner core layers "should" never create anything heavier than iron, because it costs energy to do so. Some more recent theories believe that heavier elements are created inside stars despite this, because there's a LOT of energy inside a star and there's no law that prevents fusion that requires more energy input than is output. Either way, whether created inside a star or created as the result of a supernova, elements heavier than iron would be more rare as a result.

BTW, never heard this idea about gold being created by colliding neutron stars. This sounds like some crazy gold bug fable made to drive up the price by making it seem even more rare than it is. :)

TREELLION DOLLAR mobe bonk-bank alliance goes for barcodes

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Mushroom

Re: Critically the barcode will also work on an iPhone

Not only iPhones, there are plenty of Android phones that don't have NFC either, it is hardly a requirement for the platform.

NFC is a problem looking for a solution. What I find most laughable are the arguments that it is better because it can work when your battery is dead. That is true only if you don't want the owner of the phone to have any way to approve (or not approve a transaction) If it works when your battery is dead, it will also work for someone with a high powered directional antenna in a backpack or briefcase silently stealing money from you at a distance of 10 feet on the subway.

I could see using NFC if it REQUIRED me to approve a transaction with a PIN or thumbprint or even to hit "OK". But to just wave my phone over a reader as the entirety of the transaction? (which is what is required if it is a solution that's going to work even when your phone is dead)? Hell no!

How is using a phone for this any better than waving my wallet over a reader to have a NFC enabled card pay the amount? Or to take the extra three seconds to take my card out of my wallet and swipe it through a reader, thus guaranteeing that I really wanted the transaction? Do you just fantasize about not carrying a wallet anymore? If you lose your phone you'd be well and truly screwed - no phone, maybe don't know the actual number for any friends, and you have no money, either....hope you enjoy the long walk home!

The people who push so hard for NFC have as big of an infatuation with "new, new, shiny, shiny" as the iPhone fanboys they dislike so much.

'Fastest storage in the WORLD' plugged into mighty boffinry Cray

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@Anon 12:04

You don't need 1TB/sec for a single small file though, so who cares if you aren't getting that speed? You could make the same argument at all levels down to striping two drives together on a desktop.

When you parallelize you can get up to double the throughput, but whether you actually do will depend on limitations in the other hardware and in the filesystem. Presumably the guys who designed this knew what they were doing in relation to the types of data they'll be working with.

Apple alert as half China's fanbois consider switch to Galaxy S4

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Re: A 3G wind?

Exactly. No iPhone supports China Mobile's version of 3G (TD-SCDMA) There are millions of iPhones purchased at full price used on that network at sluggish 2G (Edge only!) speeds, owned by people who are probably tired of seeing their friends zipping along at 3G speeds with 4G TD-LTE around the corner. If the next iPhone supports it, the numbers in this survey would undoubtedly change a lot. If they continue to not support China Mobile's standards, Apple will eventually lose a lot of those customers. Kind of a big deal on a carrier that has 3/4 of a BILLION customers!

If Apple supports it and makes a deal with China Mobile, they will surely end up growing share in China. Right now, no one knows whether Apple's demands or China Mobile's demands are the holdup for why they have been talking for several years but never reached a deal. At some point someone will have to blink. Maybe the numbers in this survey will cause Apple to blink.

'Charge memory' boffins: Hungover Li-Ion batts tell fat whoppers

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I wonder if it is charge memory or something else

that makes my iPhone 5 sometimes charged up at 100% in the morning and after a half hour of constant use still show say 98%, but other times it drops below 100% almost instantly after I begin using it? There have even been a few times I've started the day at 99% despite having it on the charger for 4-6 hours. Either there's some extra charge above what is reported as 100% that I sometimes get and sometimes don't, or my varying patterns of use during the day averaging over 50% charge remaining when I plug it back in at night are causing some charge memory.

In the past month on days when I've used it lightly and was over about 65% at bedtime I've avoided plugging it in to allow a deeper discharge on the next day. A couple times I got it down to single digits. When I recharge after being down below 20% it seems to be more likely I'll get one of those "100%+" charges, but it isn't guaranteed.

Foxconn's revenue down on slowing iPad, iPhone sales

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Mushroom

Re: nano-SIM

Really? You think that people make Apple/non-Apple buying decisions based on the size of a SIM it accepts?? What planet are you from???

DougS Silver badge

Can Apple really be 60-70% of Foxconn's revenue??

They have 1.25 million employees, and assemble PCs for several major OEMs, they assemble PS3s, Xboxes, Kindles, various OEM's LCD TVs, wireless router for Cisco/Linksys, all sorts of stuff. I read somewhere last year that Foxconn has about 120,000 people assembling all of Apple's products. If they get 60-70% of their revenue from only 10% of their employees, Apple is getting screwed price-wise compared to everyone else :)

Given that IDC just reported a 14% drop in PC sales YoY, that looks like a likely candidate for at least some of Foxconn's pain.

Chinese boffins predict iPad-sized supercomputers

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Using what definition of supercomputer?

If you use the definition "more powerful than a Cray-1" then we're already there. An iPhone 5 is roughly somewhere between a Cray X/MP and Y/MP in floating point capability (with much more memory, and faster I/O and non-FP calculation)

The fastest supercomputer in the world 30 years ago that cost millions now fits in the palm of your hand. The thing is, scientists always want more, which is why there are still people paying millions for supercomputers that take up a lot of square footage in datacenters around the world. If you could fit the fastest supercomputer in the world today into a tablet form factor five years from now, scientists will say, "OK great, let's start by putting 10,000 of those in some racks in my datacenter and I'll get to work!"

Well, unless that single tablet sized super costs millions by itself - if so, I hope they put it in a really durable case :)

Chemical-dipped TRANSPARENT BRAINS bare all for science

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Re: NICEbergs ...... in Networking Intelligence Community Enterprises

I would vote amanfromMars 1 be the first human candidate for this, if only he were human and not someone's beta AI that hasn't had an upgrade in the past few years. Maybe if he had a transparent brain we could see what the hell he's trying to say!

Windows 8 has put the world's PC market to sleep - IDC

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Re: Are Surface and other detachables counted as PC?

A 12% drop isn't really any better than a 14% drop, and the lackluster market reception to Surface only compounds Microsoft's troubles.

If you include Surface, you should include iPad, Nexus and all the other Android devices as PCs, should you not? In which case the numbers look great, and the PC market is growing - but Microsoft's share of that market is shrinking at an alarming rate. They may prefer the story that has the market shrinking by 14% while they at least remain in firm control of it...

Boffins propose photon-swapping entanglement experiment on ISS

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Re: Well at least it's almost science

It is by no means clear whether entanglement should hold over vast distances and speed differences.

Not only that, but this would test whether inertial frame dragging affects it at all. It is difficult to accurately measure the speed of something which occurs faster than light (perhaps instanteously...or have they ruled that out?) but what if we find it propagates at a different speed when tested on Earth than from Earth to ISS? That would be interesting and unexpected, and lead to some new theories to account for whether this has to do with the gravity differences, frame dragging or something else yet unknown.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Well at least it's almost science

You do realize that sometimes the most interesting things are learned when testing "something that nobody seriously doubts" and finding out that reality doesn't always match our preconceptions. But I guess with your superior attitude you know everything and thus have no reason to conduct any experiments at all.

Star Trek phaser sells for a STUNNING $231,000

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Anubis costume from the movie version of Stargate?

If the author meant the original theatrical release, it wasn't Anubis, it was Ra as Anubis didn't appear until halfway through the series. If he meant the DVD movie(s) after the series ended, it was Ba'al as Anubis was long gone by then.

The Anubis costume was basically a cloak and special effects, probably not worth paying much for, even for the nutters paying nearly a quarter million dollars for a prop phaser.

Android's US market share continues to slip

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Re: It would be passing strange

Exactly. I could swear I remember reading similar articles like this around this time last year, then a bunch of doom and gloom articles about Apple's falling US share in the summer round about the time people start waiting on the next iPhone everyone knows is coming.

I fully expect to see some "Apple is doomed, US market share falls by big%!" articles this summer, with Android benefiting from the pent up demand for the GS4 and many iPhone buyers holding off their purchases until next one is released.

60-inch Apple iTV to be controlled by iRing remote?

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Would make it rather easy to accidentally walk off with the remote

Unless they're intended for each viewer to have their own, to "personalize" the TV experience for them.

I subscribe to the "analyst wanted publicity, trawled old Apple patents, somehow managed to come up with an Apple TV rumor we haven't heard before" theory. Why would a ring that can easily be lost and has to be charged somehow be better than a Kinect-like sensor that just looked at your finger, which never needs charging and isn't likely to be lost unless you're a shop teacher?

DougS Silver badge

Apple charging the same for old gear

do i need to point at apple's desktop market. Their mac pro line THEY STILL charge same price they did 3 years ago for a machine that is 3 year old parts.

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The reason Apple does this is because they want to maintain the price point of a "Mac Pro". If they started lowering the price over time to account for having last year's CPU and so on, then people would react negatively to the large price increase they'd see when they spiffy new model comes out. So long as people keep buying the long in the tooth model, and I assume they still are, they can keep the price the same and just lower it right about the time they announce the new model to clear out remaining stocks of the old one.

The reason this works so well for them on the desktop is because there has been relatively little change in desktop performance in the last few years. Intel comes out with new CPUs that 5-10% faster than the old ones, the world yawns, and most people aren't too worried about getting the newest ones possible like they were a decade ago when a new generation CPU was always a big leap over the old one. CPU updates make more of a difference in laptops since while (most) people don't care much about the 5-10% faster part, they do care how it uses less power thus allowing more battery life (or a smaller battery and lighter laptop) Power usage doesn't matter much on the desktop to most people, which probably explains the lack of effort toward getting a newer Mac Pro model out the door.

Samsung teams with Mozilla on next-gen browser engine

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More proof that Samsung intends to distance itself from Google/Android

Working on their own non-Google mobile OS? Check.

Working on their own non-Google browser? Check.

Working on their own non-Google maps? Stay tuned.

Steve Jobs to supervise iPhone 6 FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE

DougS Silver badge

Re: oh yes, people are dumping iPhones for Windows phones all day long. SURE they are.....

I wasn't saying there are no people leaving iPhone, just that the claim that iPhone is "losing share" is based on the idiotic obsession with looking at smartphone market share rather than mobile phone market share. In a few years there won't be a such thing as a feature phone, they'll all be smartphones.

Almost all of those smartphones replacing feature phones will be low end Android devices so Android will continue to see its market share climb to nearly 90% - unless something else comes in on the low end like the FirefoxOS, or Samsung goes its own way with non-Android phones in significant numbers.

DougS Silver badge

Re: oh yes, people are dumping iPhones for Windows phones all day long. SURE they are.....

Which is wrong. Just because iOS market share in SMARTPHONES is decreasing doesn't mean that people are switching from Apple. Apple market share in the overall MOBILE phone market is still (slowly) growing. It's just that the smartphone market is growing very quickly these days thanks to the low end (since most of those who can afford a high end smartphone and want one already own one) and while Apple sells more phones in a given quarter than they did in the same quarter previously their growth rate is well below that of the smartphone market so their share of that market drops.

FTC splits $50,000 robocall killing tech prize

DougS Silver badge

I hope the explanations given aren't what these things really are

A black/white list. Yes, that's great. The robocalls I get sometimes originate from a specific number (anyone in the US familiar with calls from "CARD SERVICES"?) but sometimes use a different number every time. That's trivial to do since it is trivial to spoof caller ID.

If a lot of people start using blacklists they'll all spoof their numbers. If people start using whitelists, they better know the numbers of everyone they want calling them, and never get a call from an unknown number, like their credit card company telling them they've suspended your account for security reasons because you did something unexpected, like use it. Spoofing ANI is much harder than spoofing caller ID, but end consumers don't have access to ANI and never will.

Now if it was done in the cloud, as in the second suggestion, then maybe ANI could be used. But somehow I'll bet the phone companies will figure out a way to charge us a lot of money for the privilege, and doing so would risk unmasking callers who wish to and need to remain anonymous (women's shelters etc.)

The captcha thing is great, except if the automated systems I get stuck in voicemail hell with can (theoretically) understand what I say, then why can't they understand what buttons the captcha is telling them to push? If the captcha says "what is 37x134?" then hook it to Wolfram Alpha, and answering the question would have a better chance of proving one is NOT human given the poor state of arithmetic ability in the public.

Every once in a while I register for a new forum somewhere and have to do a captcha. I find I have to refresh it a half dozen times on average before I get one I know I'll be able to handle. They've been forced to make them so hard that humans can barely manage them. I don't know how they'll do that over the phone....have someone with a really thick foreign accent tell you what buttons to push, and you can hit '*' to have it repeated in a different accent until you get one you can understand? Too bad I guess if someone from London gets instructions in a Cajun accent, or a guy from Chicago gets instructions in a Welsh accent!

US bill prohibits state use of tech linked to Chinese government

DougS Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Subsidised?

Its also the foundation of past America - our great great grandparents were the child laborers in US factories back when the US was an upstart trying to dethrone the mighty British empire, who themselves utilized child labor even earlier to get its industrial base to where it was.

The Chinese of today may have it much worse than the workers in the west do today, but they have it far far better than their US or British forebears do. There was no one to speak for them back then, while today we have Reg readers who are up in arms while sitting comfortably in their chairs doing fuck all about the actual problem, but tell themselves they are being socially conscious because they're "boycotting" certain companies and products they had already decided they weren't going to buy anyway.

Wealthy London NIMBYs grit teeth, welcome 'ugly' fibre cabinets

DougS Silver badge

I assume there's a reason they aren't putting them underground?

Seems like digging a hole in the sidewalk and putting them underneath with an access hatch above would be a decent way to fix this. Surely there can't be cost objections, not in such an upscale neighborhood. Spread out over the decade or two service life of the cabinet, the cost of putting them underground would probably only amount to a handful of pounds per year per house. Add to the bill for those getting fiber or have the council tack it onto everyone's property bill.

Experts agree: Your next car will be smarter than you

DougS Silver badge

Something to keep in mind about Google's driverless car

They've been approved to have autonomous vehicles in Nevada and conduct most of their testing there. For those of you who live elsewhere, or haven't otherwise visited Nevada, it is probably the singular best place you could ever hope to program a vehicle to drive itself, because the roads are all perfectly smooth, wide, with lines boldly painted on and reflectors often in the road between lanes (you have those in the states where it doesn't snow, where it does snow they don't work because the plows would tear them out)

Contrast that with many states in the US, where the lane paint wears off much faster than it can be repainted, potholes cover the road, the edges are sometimes ill defined with a ditch conveniently located nearby if you fail to notice the edge. And that's during clear weather. Try it during a downpour, or when snow covers the road, and you've really got fun. As a human with far better visual processing than any computer yet invented, I have trouble seeing where the road is sometimes when it is snow covered, no way a driverless car could navigate it without having something embedded in the road to help it know where the lanes are. In a lot of places in Europe the roads are far narrower than they typically are in the US, to the point that vehicles need to practically drive off the road to avoid clipping side mirrors. People over there definitely have far more awareness of the exact boundaries of their vehicle, for us yanks driving over there can be a bit terrifying when the locals are driving 60 mph and missing our mirror by an inch. (I think you guys do it deliberately when you see us coming ;))

If the car can only drive me on the easiest driving experiences, and leaves me the ones that are the most difficult and stressful, the value of having a self driving car, other than having it drive me home after I've had too much to drink, or perhaps sleeping in the back while it eats up the miles on the Interstate in lieu of a TSA fondling, is somewhat lost on me. I know a lot of people think Google can work miracles, but human equivalent visual processing and the level of AI necessary to drive in dense traffic filled with lots of unreliable and semi-suicidal humans is a HARD problem, one that has been worked on for decades by exactly the type of PhDs Google hires with little real progress to show for it. If it were a matter of just needing x times more CPU power I'd hold out more hope that Moore's Law would help us, but our problem isn't lack of computing power, it is knowing how to apply it.

T-Mobile US announces 'no BS' rate plans, iPhones, LTE

DougS Silver badge

It will be interesting to see the response to this in the US

I know several people who were shocked when I told them how much cell phones actually cost, versus the $99 or $199 phones they see. I guess they think the $0 phones were free just to get you to sign a 24 month contract with them.

I think there will be a lot of people suspicious of this and thinking T-mobile is trying to rip them off offering to sell them an iPhone for $99 plus $20/mo for two years when they can get one for "only" $199 from AT&T or Verizon. Yes, if they can do basic math they'll see they still come out ahead, but the problem is they'll go into it thinking it is some sort of scam. The math making sense will only make them believe they just don't see what the scam is, and back away.

I hope I'm wrong, because I'd really like it if all carriers switched to this model. I'll bet that unless I'm wrong and this works for T-mobile to steal customers from AT&T and Verizon they'll just ignore it and keep doing what they've always done.

West Virginia seeks Google Glass driving ban

DougS Silver badge

Re: OMG

It is one thing to ban distraction, it is another thing to make a law that is enforceable and provable in court. If you get into an accident while you are texting while driving, it can be proven in court by subpoena of your cell records. If you are watching something on your Google glasses, how can it be proven, if you are relying on local storage?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Someone else who's missed the point about privacy and GG

If you combine an "always on" camera with a full-time internet connection and the capability of all of Google's computing power to put towards facial recognition, and add in the handy database of millions of images in Google+ along with whatever they can trawl from Facebook, Linkedin and so on, you have some serious privacy issues. Google could track your every movement in public, even when you are in a foreign country 12,000 miles from home where exactly zero people know you.

Sure, the same thing is possible if you had the CIA tailing you, or a REALLY GOOD (and no doubt fabulously expensive) private investigation firm, but aside from the "if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear" crowd I think most would agree this would not be a good development.

Even if you believe the line about Google doing no evil, there's not a lot of good that could conceivably be done with that type of information unless you think hyper-targeted advertising is a good thing. If you look at the wifi slurping incident, Google is either actively collecting information on people they should have no business collecting, or they have such lax controls over what their employees do that a low level employee can add code to collect tons of private information on people all over the world without management having any idea that it is happening.

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