* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Has science gone too far? Now boffins dream of shining gigantic laser pointer into space to get aliens' attention

DougS Silver badge

Yeah I read that article too but for scientists they aren't too smart. Why would you use an asteroid as a probe unless you wanted to hide the fact that it was a probe? And if you're doing that, why would you use an asteroid that's got a really weird shape instead of using a normal looking asteroid that blends in with the rest, and why not approach on an orbit that makes it look like it is just an asteroid on a really eccentric orbit, rather than something that's obviously from outside the solar system?

Its like a girl trying to sneak into a sorority and not attract attention by dressing like the typical college male.

DougS Silver badge

Re: This won't end well...

Hoorah my time will come.

Despite your handle being Boris the Cockroach, I read that in Zoidberg's voice because its totally a thing he would say.

DougS Silver badge

Re: "We don't have any tech that aliens want"

Vegetarians would still develop weapons, because at some point they'd compete with other vegetarians for limited plant resources e.g. during drought. Humans might have originally developed weapons to kill and eat animals that run away, but we wouldn't have needed to advance beyond much beyond spears if that was the only reason. We certainly wouldn't have tanks and nukes.

Boom! Just like that the eSIM market emerges – and jolly useful it is too

DougS Silver badge

Re: And jolly useful it is too....???

Apple has had the secure enclave for what five years now? Google integrated their Titan security chip in the Pixel 3. Pretty sure Qualcomm has something similar in their latest SoCs.

DougS Silver badge

Re: eSim = NoSim

You don't need the internet, you just need to be within range for a tower for the carrier you've chosen. Probably can be done via wifi too but I'm not sure.

If you break your phone and you are out of range of that carrier's towers then you can't authorize a new phone, but if you slipped a SIM into that new phone it would similarly useless until it is within range of that carrier's tower.

DougS Silver badge

Re: And jolly useful it is too....???

You don't transfer the eSIM authorization from phone to phone, you transfer it from carrier to phone. I haven't used an eSIM phone, but presumably you go to a menu to select the carrier (or give it a carrier code for small carriers that aren't listed) and assuming your phone is within range of that carrier's tower you can authenticate yourself (username / password I suppose) and your eSIM is authorized.

DougS Silver badge

Apple had little money in 2007? They were making a killing selling iPods back then! This wasn't the 1997 Apple that was in danger of going under.

They didn't support CDMA because they didn't need it, because they had an exclusive with AT&T.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple is ramming this down the carrier's throats.

You download the authorization to the backup phone, and you are back in business. Please stop spouting nonsense all over the forum until you've cured your ignorance about how eSIM works.

As for "other phones", according to a poster below the Pixel 3 - and the Pixel 2 which went on sale almost a year ago - have eSIMs. I don't have knowledge either way but have no reason to doubt that, because eSIM isn't an evil Apple plot like you want to believe. Or is it an "evil Apple/Google conspiracy" now?

DougS Silver badge

Re: eSim = NoSim

I think you need to educate yourself about how eSIM works if you think "my phone broke" when it is using eSIM means you are screwed.

DougS Silver badge


Exactly how long do you think that state of affairs will last when Apple manages to become its own mobile phone provider/network?

Wait, you think Apple wants this, but have somehow been unable to do so, despite having a quarter trillion in cash lying around?

Starting up an MVNO is easy, if Apple wanted to do that they could have done so even without eSIM. They could have sold iPhones that are limited to only their MVNO, by refusing to work with competitor SIMs. Your crazy conspiracy theories don't stand up the most minimal scrutiny.

DougS Silver badge

Apple's original AT&T deal

So the fact you could only buy the original iPhone with a 2-year AT&T contract had nothing to do with Apple?

Of course it did. But Apple needed carrier support to be able to 1) sell phones that didn't have ANY carrier modifications, which 100% of phones did in 2007 and 2) to put in technology for visual voicemail, which did not exist until Apple did it.

In exchange for those concessions, Apple gave AT&T an exclusive in the US for a few years. They did similar exclusives in some other countries - and in some other countries didn't offer the iPhone at all at first if no carriers would play ball with them.

The nice world (most) Android owners live in today where they can buy a phone free from any carrier installed cruft was made possible by Apple applying pressure and making it happen first. If Apple hadn't done this, we'd probably still live in the bad old world of every phone being sold through the carrier, with carrier branding and software - and features they didn't like being disabled or limited.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple is ramming this down the carrier's throats.

eSIM is a 3GPP standard, the only "ramming" Apple is doing is supporting a feature which customers will then look for carriers to support - and vote with their feet if they don't support it. That's not "ramming" it down anyone's throat, that's supply and demand in action - customers demand eSIM support, carriers that want their business will supply it.

DougS Silver badge

Re: is this the SIM equivalent of the "smart" meter ?

Erm, you realize that a carrier can shut off your service remotely with a physical SIM too, right?

DougS Silver badge

Re: eSim = NoSim

And why's that a problem? eSIM is a 3GPP standard, and when all carriers support it - which they eventually will - then there will be no reason for an iPhone to have a SIM slot. What will be lost when they drop it?

DougS Silver badge

Re: And jolly useful it is too....???

What exactly do you think Apple is "in charge of". eSIM is a 3GPP standard, not a special Apple only thing. If you think Apple is going to restrict you to an Apple approved list of carriers, then you can relax because they can't even if they wanted to.

And since it sounds like you aren't a fan of Apple, I'm sure not why you'd care if they could because you aren't going to own one of their phones anyway.

DougS Silver badge

Apple isn't looking for "kickbacks from the carrier" - they don't have anything to do with the carrier and don't like the fact they can be locked to a carrier if they don't have to. They aren't the ones allowing carriers to modify their software, or put their branding on the phone, that's Android OEMS.

It is far more likely carriers would sell branded Androids permanently locked to their own network. Probably offered as a 'lease' where you never own the phone, to get around any consumer protection laws that require letting the owner unlock a phone after it is paid off.

DougS Silver badge

I think Apple's intent is for eSIM support to be universal so they can eventually drop the SIM slot. There's no reason a phone can't handle muiltiple "SIMs" with a single eSIM.

In the meantime, they are serving a market they never served before by offering people who need two SIMs for whatever reason options - at least if one of their desired carriers supports eSIM. As it is a 3GPP standard, support will come to all eventually.

DougS Silver badge

Re: eSim support

You probably don't care if the "main carriers" support it at first - you'd put them in the physical slot and use the eSIM for an alternate carrier for specific purposes (i.e. travel, better rates to a specific country etc.)

The main carriers will be forced to support it eventually - it is a 3GPP standard not some Apple only creation.

DougS Silver badge

Which option makes SIM swap fraud and two-factor authentication defeat easier or harder?

Easy to work around, just require the real SIM be momentarily inserted into the phone to "clone" it into the eSIM.

What the PUC: SK Hynix next to join big boys in 96-layer 3D NAND land

DougS Silver badge

Re: Thanks but

I didn't mean to suggest those 100 TB SSDs could slot into a standard PC as a 3.5" drive. But smaller enterprise drives like 4TB or 8TB easily could, and wouldn't be a cooling problem.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Thanks but

They can make them MUCH larger easily - NAND chips have been stacked 8 chips high in a package, and the SATA power budget would allow for at least 32 chips if not 64 per device - so something like 16 TB to 32 TB in a 3.5" form factor (less in m.2 of course)

The problem isn't making them, the problem is there is a distinct lack of demand in the consumer market the larger they get due to price. You can't just multiply the price of a 1 TB by 4 and think that's the price a 4 TB drive should go for. They would sell less than 1% as many, so the price would be 3-4x more than that.

You want to see how big they can get, look at the enterprise market. You can get drives as big as 100 TB in a 3.5" form factor (half height SAS, not SATA) but you better refinance the mortgage on your house to free up the cash first!

Google: All right, screw it, from this Christmas, Chrome will block ALL adverts on dodgy sites

DougS Silver badge

Re: It's a start

Just dump Chrome, it isn't the best browser and they will obviously never protect your from ads and tracking as well as browsers made by companies that unlike Google don't get over 100%[*] of their profit from advertising.

Over 100% because Google loses money collectively on everything that isn't advertising.

What's that? SSH can still use RC4? Not for much longer, promise

DougS Silver badge

Re: There are lots of buried systems

Yep, I've written scripts using scp that specified options for older encryption options because that's what the server had available. Might have even been RC4, this was back in 2009/2010.

Hopefully those devices running older SSH versions have been upgraded by now, but if those scripts are still operational and the script server they are running on gets updated to a RHEL version with the latest SSH stuff is going to break and cause someone heartache...

DougS Silver badge

Not sure if this is a good idea

There have to be some old devices out there that support ssh but would need RC4 since newer stuff is too computationally intense (plus you wouldn't be able to upgrade its firmware)

Should leave them in, with some sort of a setting in the config file to enable insecure stuff on a per host basis...

Smartphone industry is in 'recession'! Could it be possible we have *gasp* reached 'peak tech'?

DougS Silver badge

Re: "A car is"

At leas when a car battery dies you don't have to replace the whole car... nor even send it to a repair centre

Tell that to my mom's car, which has a battery under the back seat with no visible way of getting at it. My dad was going to replace the battery when it started having problems but couldn't figure out how to get at it, so he took it to the dealership...

My car required me to buy an extra long torx screwdriver to get at the screws holding it down.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Bah!

I hope you don't ever buy cars less than 7 or 8 years old, because those will depreciate more than 1000 local currency units in a year even if you leave it in the garage unused.

30 spies dead after Iran cracked CIA comms network with, er, Google search – new claim

DougS Silver badge

Re: Commander-In-Chief to blame

You do realize that Obama was not president for a single day in 2008, when this was first reported, right?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hmmmm, 2008, 2010 and 2012

Should have known someone would try to make this political.

And that someone dumb enough to do that would also be dumb enough to not realize that the year 2008 was when Bush Jr. was in office. Obama didn't become president until January 2009.

Since the guy never claimed his reports reached cabinet level, let alone got the president's ear, I don't see how you can directly blame either Obama or Bush. This is down to pencil pushers at the CIA who like all pencil pushers don't like hearing that something being done under their purview is dangerous and wrong, and REALLY don't like hearing "I told you so" when the warnings are eventually proven accurate.

Seagate HAMRs out a roadmap for future hard drive recording tech

DougS Silver badge

Re: Should be interesting

A failure of the heating element would make it read only so long as it noticed that and didn't try to write anyway - otherwise the attempted write might change some of the data but not all and corrupt what you have.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Awesome!

Was waiting for some joker to complain about rebuild time, which is inevitable in every article about "bigger hard drives coming". If you aren't already using forms of RAID that distribute parity instead of putting it on a single drive, and support the failure of more than one drive in a group, then you deserve a week long rebuild.

No one will force you to buy 100TB drives, you can keep using 500GB drives and get great rebuild times if sticking with antiquated RAID5 is that important to you.

Clunk, bang, rattle: Is that a ghost inside your machine?

DougS Silver badge

Spooning toner into the copier

I was wondering how that exec could possibly believe you needed to open the toner cartridge. Still seems like you should know it wasn't intended to be opened and poured in given that it didn't have a simple shape like a jug of milk, but at least his theory about pouring toner might have had some basis in his previous experience had he encountered such a copier - never heard of this sort of thing myself.

UK and EU crawling towards post-Brexit data exchange deal – reports

DougS Silver badge

So basically what will happen

Is the EU will approve data/financial movements between the UK and EU if the UK adheres to all EU regulations concerning data and finance.

So much for the "freedom" of being liberated from the EU's tyranny...

Supreme Court raises eyebrows at Google's cozy $8.5m legal deal

DougS Silver badge

Re: @El Reg Your ANTIFA t-shirt is showing...

Even the biggest Trump butt kisser knows it was not a "complete" investigation by any means, given that hundreds of thousands of pages of Bush White House records were withheld, and the FBI was instructed to conduct a very narrow investigation of the accusations against him. If the situation was reversed Mr. Gumby would be apoplectic about the democrat whitewash, and be sure they were hiding something. Which they would be - I should say WILL BE since now that the republicans have gotten away with it, they've provided a roadmap for the democrats to do the same next time they're in charge.

That's the problem with such slimy behavior, whichever minority party that has it done over their objections remembers it, but not to correct it but to say "hey that's a good idea for us to put in our bag of dirty tricks".

And thus the bar gets lower over time, and things that were unthinkable 20 years ago become commonplace, and our government gets further and further away from the ideals of the founding fathers.

DougS Silver badge

Re: @ST The Bret thing

He repeatedly lied in his previous testimony when becoming an appellate judge, claiming a lack of involvement in Bush White House legal decisions that records show he was involved in.

No doubt there was more evidence in the hundreds of thousands of pages withheld from the committee by the Trump White House. They knew there was a smoking gun in there, otherwise they would have released it all.

For that matter, Kavanaugh knew he was going to to face charges for sexual assault as early as July, and was already calling people to round up support. Which was made pretty obvious when less than 24 hours after the first accusation surfaced, he had a letter signed by 65 former classmates saying they'd never seen him do anything like that. You don't get 65 classmates rounded up and signing something in that short of a time, it was obviously prepared in advance. Who would prepare something like that in advance, except for someone who knew they'd be accused because they knew they were guilty? Before anyone claims the democrats would have laid such charges on anyone, why didn't they do it to Gorsuch? Probably because he's never sexually assaulted anyone!

US government charges two Chinese spies over jet engine blueprint theft

DougS Silver badge

Re: They need to steal more than just the blueprints.

While I agree he has an (unintentional) point, a lot of advanced aeronautics uses special materials. You could steal the design for the space shuttle, but unless you had the recipe to make the material used for the tiles or something that acts similarly, it wouldn't survive re-entry.

DougS Silver badge

Re: The US government should fund 'fake plans'

They'd never get these designs working well enough to put them into service, that's the whole point. So they'd never be over your house, unless your house is right next door to where China tests its planes using engines stolen from western designs.

DougS Silver badge

The US government should fund 'fake plans'

When they detect this, rather than arresting them, they should have designers design stuff that's deliberately flawed in subtle ways for them to "steal". Then when the Chinese try to copy it, it will fail spectacularly and they won't know where the problem lies or what parts of the stolen plans they can trust and what parts they can't.

The US government would have to pay them to do it, otherwise they aren't going to task engineers on this, but that's probably cheaper than bringing them to trial (even when they are located somewhere the US can reach them)

This one weird trick turns your Google Home Hub into a doorstop

DougS Silver badge

Google being rather disingenous

They excuse these bugs by saying that the attacker has to be on the same wifi network. How many bugs has 'Google Zero' found that are far more difficult to exploit? A bug is a bug, and getting onto their network is easy if they have a vulnerable router (which almost all consumer routers running the manufacturer firmware are) or you can get malware onto their PC (which is pretty easy to do via emailing them malware, or getting them to visit a particular URL that contains it)

This isn't a useless doodad like a network controllable light bulb, and could have some pretty serious consequences if (or should I say when) it is compromised if people are controlling a bunch of "smart home" features with it.

Haha, good times: Larry Ellison regales noobs about when Oracle staff almost didn't get paid

DougS Silver badge

Sage advice

Just because he foresaw the usefulness of a transaction processing database when IBM didn't doesn't mean he's all seeing. There are a lot more people who foresee (and stumble into) one thing than those who truly see where tech is going in advance well enough to be in the right place multiple times. In fact other than Jobs, I can't think of anyone who qualifies on the latter basis.

So Ellison overlooking cloud isn't surprising - or at least wouldn't be if he hadn't spent the 90s talking up network computers which required what we would now call a 'private cloud' to function! Maybe because those failed he figured 'been there done that' and that cloud would fail too. Maybe he did see the future to some extent, but his vision was clouded (sorry)

Bomb squad descends on suspicious package to find something much more dangerous – a Journey cassette

DougS Silver badge

Re: Potential bomb handling method?

I doubt the article gave an exact description. They can check for RF emissions or bomb residue with meters and dogs, if neither of those hit they're probably safe from bombs and just do the Xray/tug test as a matter of procedure in case it is something else like anthrax (not Anthrax, only a truly sadistic terrorist would send one of their cassettes through the mail)

DougS Silver badge

Re: This sort of "it's a bomb" madness isn't new

Given that there were over a dozen IEDs mailed to various democrats only a week ago, it is probably fresh in the minds of anyone who is tasked with opening the mail. Duke Energy may not be owned by a democrat, but they certainly have their enemies. One thing we know is that sending something bad through the mail which achieves a lot of attention is likely to attract copycats, who may have a different target list.

Besides, even if you X-rayed it and looked like a cassette you'd probably think "its gotta be a decoy, who would mail a cassette to Duke Energy in 2018"?

Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons

DougS Silver badge


They were dumped in a field one town over, and the people that found them didn't want to end up paying for disposal in their taxes so they re-dumped them in your town?

Chuck this on expenses: £2k iPad paints Apple as the premium fondleslab specialist – as planned

DougS Silver badge

Re: level one Apple Care

They'd have to partner with someone for 24 hr on-site service, or limit it only to areas where an Apple store is somewhere in the vicinity. There are plenty of places further than a day's drive from the nearest Apple store, since they don't tend to put them in rural areas of the US (to say nothing of the ROW)

I suppose they could offer next day shipping for advanced replacement, but that's gonna be pricey. Be cheaper for a corporate customer to just keep a few spares on hand and allow repairs to proceed the slow way if they don't have an Apple Store in town.

DougS Silver badge

"A professional tablet is repairable, extensible"

So I guess there is no such thing, as I'm not aware of any that qualify given your metrics. The Surface Pro certainly doesn't qualify given that iFixit's repairability rating for it is 1, the worst score you can get. The previous gen iPad Pro's repairability is 3, which is still crap, but 3 > 1.

Boffins have fabricated microscopic sci-fi tractor beams for real

DougS Silver badge

Re: using beams of light to manipulate atoms.

And when quantum mechanics finish their service and send you the bill, any attempt to read the amount on the bill in order to write the check will change the amount.

If you have them auto deduct from your account, then the time they remove the money might be before you call for service, but you can prevent that by checking your account regularly.

Spectrum-starved Wi-Fi vendors look at DSRC band, sharpen knives

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hang On a Moment...

The US charges for spectrum allocations only when they are held by a specific company, like they did when spectrum was auctioned to cellular providers. They don't do it when it is dedicated to a specific industry or specific use like the DSRC band. Who would they bill?

They don't charge TV/radio stations for the channel they were allocated, even though they are held by a specific station, but stations have various public interest requirements they have to meet to maintain their license to broadcast on that channel.

Apple emits its much-anticipated updates to Mac, AppleTV, and iOS

DougS Silver badge

Re: The headline

They are using "drop" in the record sense, like "Lady Gaga is about to drop her new album".

Apple breathes new life into MacBook Air with overhauled 2018 model

DougS Silver badge

Re: Mac mini SSD

Apple's web site just says it is "PCI-e based" but doesn't mention m.2. Based on how they mention the RAM is SO-DIMM based I think if the storage was m.2 they'd probably mention that as well.

EU Android latest: Critics diss Google's money-spinning 'cure'

DougS Silver badge

Re: Windows Phone

Big difference between "dodgy, likely illegal" practices like they used with Windows PCs, and "so stupid, I can't believe they really thought that wouldn't kill their market" practices they used on Windows Phone.

Woman who hooked up with over 15 spectres has found her forever phantom after whirlwind romance and plane sex

DougS Silver badge

Re: "Amethyst Realm", really?

Amethyst is actually not a terrible name for a girl, though. I see worse on a weekly basis.

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