* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

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.

iPhone XR guts reveal sizzle of the XS without the excessive price tag

DougS Silver badge

If they had Face ID first

And had replaced it with Touch ID, we'd have people wanting Face ID back.

I doubt we will see them offering both, but it would be nice for the corner cases where Face ID doesn't work - like at a Halloween party last weekend. If had I thought of it at the time time it would have been interesting to see if I could have used the mask as my second face...

DougS Silver badge

Re: SE

I think we will see an SE2, but since the SE was released six months after the regular release next spring is the most likely time for an SE2 release.

Pirate radio = drug dealing and municipal broadband is anti-competitive censorship

DougS Silver badge

Are these "pirates" even interfering with legitimate users?

If not, who cares? They probably use radio rather than streaming because a lot of old ladies like to listen to preachers who maybe can't get around too easily, and don't know what "streaming" is.

So long as the preachers aren't scamming them out of their savings, it seems pretty petty to go after them. I guess O'Reilly identified 'pirate radio' as a problem when he was 22 years old and resolved "someday I'll have a position of minor power where I can crack down on this terrible scourge!"

From today, it's OK in the US to thwart DRM to repair your stuff – if you keep the tools a secret

DougS Silver badge

Re: DRM didn't protect anything, ever.

Sure, but there are a lot more entertainment options in 2018 than there were in 1939, so it is hardly surprising that 1939's best movie leads in inflation adjusted take. If people had 4K televisions, Playstation 4s, iPhones, and the internet in 1939 I daresay Gone With the Wind would not have done quite so well.

DougS Silver badge

Harry Potter

Seriously, your complaint about the Harry Potter films were that they needed another dozen of them? By the time they finished filming the last one, Harry, Ron and Hermoine would be 30 years old!

Your mistake is saying that Hollywood not giving what the "hardcore fans wanted" was a problem. Those movies didn't make billions because of hardcore fans, they made billions because of their broad appeal. Make people have to watch two a year for 10 years and remember all sorts of backstories and plot twists, and they WOULD only be watched by the hardcore fans. And they'd end up making the same amount of revenue they made from the 8 films with 20 of them - but have 2.5x more expenses.

Hollywood is a business, always has been. Turning books into movies that even the most hardcore fans won't find fault with is not a way to increase profit, it is a way to create movies that are impenetrable for the casual moviegoer that get rejected at the box office.

DougS Silver badge

Re: DRM didn't protect anything, ever.

Hollywood was killed? That'll come as a surprise to them! They are in business to make money, and if people are willing to pay money to see more and more obscure "superheroes" on the silver screen, they are happy to deliver.

If people wanted highbrow stuff they'd do that instead, but that's obviously not happening in Trump's America.

Microsoft to staff: We remain locked and loaded with US military – and will keep adding voice to AI ethics debate

DougS Silver badge

Re: Microsoft isn't wrong

It is basically a really big database. I know they are selling it as being "AI" but it is basically a really big database that updates its own rules. Intel employees don't complain about Intel selling CPUs to the US government, which in some cases are no doubt used to help them implement some really terrible stuff like running computers that plan renditions and running calendar software that schedules waterboarding sessions for the renditees.

Its a tool, that's all. If Microsoft was the ONLY supplier who could implement JEDI, and its function would suffer without them, then they might have a case. But if one steel company refuses to sell to Raytheon because it is used to build casings for guided bombs, another steel company will step up and there will be still be guided bombs made. Its a pointless gesture.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Microsoft isn't wrong

I don't understand why they are complaining about this JEDI contract. It is only storing information, that's like Seagate employees saying they don't want them to sell hard drives to the DoD.

It is the so-called AI stuff that the DoD hopes will eventually lead to unmanned and autonomous fighters and bombers they should be worried about - giving a computer decision making power over killing people.

If they complain about this, why didn't they complain about selling them Windows licenses for the past few decades?

DougS Silver badge

Windows for Warships

I guess the reason anti-war Microsoft employees didn't complain when they heard about the UK using Windows in their new ships earlier this century is because they knew it would make the UK less able to go to war.

Apple might be 'collateral damage' in US and China trade dust-up

DougS Silver badge

Re: Might cause them to speed up their timetable for automation

That's why I listed Taiwan as a possible site for the factory, which would avoid the tariffs but also avoid the supply chain worries. And given that Foxconn is a Taiwanese company...

But once they had it figured out it would be doable to set up multiple smaller factories, so US iPhones could be "made in America" and Indian iPhones could be made there, etc.

DougS Silver badge

Might cause them to speed up their timetable for automation

Apple has already been working with Foxconn behind the scenes to automate a lot of the production tasks currently done by Chinese workers. There's no reason to locate a highly automated iPhone production plant in China, versus elsewhere like Taiwan or the US.

The reason they haven't already done this is that human labor is still better (i.e. some combination of cheaper, faster, higher quality) than robotic assembly for all the tiny fiddly bits that go into an iPhone. A trade dispute that upsets Apple's ability to deliver iPhones is going to change the numbers in the spreadsheet a LOT. Apple has unlimited resources to bring the timetable forward a lot more quickly if they decide it is time to pull the trigger on this.

Even if not everyone is selling products at Apple levels so automation still doesn't make sense for them, moving production to a cheaper country with fewer trade issues like Vietnam begins to look good. It would be ironic if China faced the prospect of losing tens of millions of jobs to automation and offshoring like the US and EU already have. That would leave a big dent in their schedule for bringing the rest of their citizens into the middle class.

Techie was bigged up by boss… only to cause mass Microsoft Exchange outage

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why would you have a maintenance window at 6:30am?

If you break something at night then you'll have to show up at 6:30am to get it going, so it really isn't any worse than coming in at 6:30am for the maintenance in the first place.

95% of the time you won't run into such problems and you can come in at a sane hour after having taken care of the maintenance the evening before from the comfort of your home.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why would you have a maintenance window at 6:30am?

They can't reasonably expect him to work from home at 10:30pm to take care of maintenance, but can expect him to show up in the office at 6:30am (and probably still want him to stay until close of business)

I know which job I'd say "hell no" to if I had a choice between the two!

DougS Silver badge

Why would you have a maintenance window at 6:30am?

I can't see why you wouldn't want it at 6:30pm since some people might be working late, but what's wrong with say 10:30pm or even 1am? That way if things go wrong (and inevitably they will go wrong at some point) you have plenty of time to resolve it before work starts. At 6:30am you have no time at all before they start complaining - as evidenced by this story.

Budget 2018: UK goes it alone on digital sales tax for tech giants

DougS Silver badge

Commenorating Brexit?

Shouldn't they wait until it has actually been in effect a couple years to see whether it is the win its backers claimed, or the disaster those who voted against it said it will be?

I mean, I'm pretty sure the US never considered a coin commemorating the Vietnam war...

The Chinese are here: Xiaomi to bring phones to the UK next month

DougS Silver badge

Re: The alternative would be to trust Qualcomm

So what's the difference? I'm sure Chinese made SoCs have at least as many security holes. The real concern is in the modems, but unfortunately there is no source for modems that aren't security nightmares, at least currently. That's one reason Apple is looking to eventually bring that in house. Not that they have a perfect security record by any means, but at least they will TRY to make it secure unlike everyone else.

The conspiracy theories that Qualcomm's Swiss cheese baseband software has holes deliberately inserted to make things easier for the NSA to snoop remain theories, but as conspiracy theories go they are one of the easiest to believe.

DougS Silver badge


Because it has a Chinese developed OS

No, its Android just like every other phone that's not an iPhone. The ones sold in China replace the Google stuff with Chinese search engines, etc. but if they plan to sell the UK I'm sure it'll ship with Google not Baidu etc.

Manchester man fined £1,440 after neighbours couldn't open windows for stench of dog toffee

DougS Silver badge

Fined £900??

Then maybe he's onto something and the council should go clean it up for him. Where I live if you have a public nuisance like letting your grass grow uncontrollably, not shoveling the sidewalk, leaving junk in the yard etc. the city will send you a letter and give you a few days to correct the problem. Otherwise, they warn they will come out and do it for you and bill you (at what I'm sure is an exorbitant rate) and tack on a fine. Not sure what the fine is since I've never had this happen, but I'm sure it is a lot less than £900 or $900!

The 'roid in Spain drills mainly on the plain: Plucky Brit Mars robot laps up sun, sand and, er, simulated science

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hmmmm

The problem in Antarctica is the wind, which is unlike Mars since the atmosphere is so thin there. The rover would probably blow over in Antarctica.

China tells Trump to use a Huawei phone to avoid eavesdroppers

DougS Silver badge

Re: Imagine what he'd say if Hillary had done this?

If they wanted to bug him they wouldn't need to bug his phone, they'd bug the cell repeaters in the White House.

DougS Silver badge

Imagine what he'd say if Hillary had done this?

He'd probably stop asking to lock her up and suggest she should be executed. Double standard for Trump and his supporters, as ever.

It is a bit cheeky of Huawei to suggest this, as if the brand of phone would even matter for one that doesn't use mil spec encryption, verify it is connected to a legitimate cell site, etc. The secure ones the government hands out probably have a special baseband that's had all the "bugs" the NSA get Qualcomm & Intel to insert in theirs removed.

What can I say about this 5G elixir? Try it on steaks! Cleans nylons! It's made for the home! The office! On fruits!

DougS Silver badge

Re: US voters get what they vote for

That's the power level AFTER the low noise amplifier block in your LNB. Dunno about Viasat, but Directv's LNB has a two stage amp that takes it from about -90 dbm to ~ -25 dbm, which depending on the length of cable and number of splits is spec'ed to reach the receivers at a minimum of -55 dbm.

DougS Silver badge

Re: US voters get what they vote for

So long as the distance isn't too great that shouldn't be an issue. While people point out that when it rains heavily your satellite TV will go out using similar frequencies (as high as 18-20 GHz for Directv) they conveniently forget that 1) the power levels are incredibly small - arriving at the dish at about -90 dbm in clear weather and 2) the signal travels through over ten MILES of rain/ice in the atmosphere which causes the attenuation/scattering.

A signal traveling a half mile that arrives at more like -60 or -70 dbm in clear weather will be a lot harder to knock out. And hey, it isn't like cable/DSL/fiber internet has 100% uptime, at least if you know you get knocked out when rain exceeds two inches an hour you know either the outages will be few and short, or getting your internet knocked out won't be a problem because you'll be fleeing the flash flood that's about to float your house down the newly expanded banks of the local river.

DougS Silver badge

Re: US voters get what they vote for

Well the nice thing about 5G is that it will put pressure on the cable monopolies in a few years.

5G doesn't make more efficient use of the airwaves, but it is being accompanied by making a LOT more airwaves available for it to exploit. So anywhere you can get the backhaul to (whether via fiber or newfangled stuff like AT&T's AirGig) you can get some pretty terrific data rates for fixed wireless. Those high frequencies aren't very suitable for phones because trees can block the signal, let alone buildings, but they will be great when both ends are fixed.

The cable companies will finally have real competition, so we won't need to worry about trying to make them open up their networks. The telcos could do the same using G.fast (which is now available in symmetric form) but in the US they are all busy trying to forget about the copper they have in the ground as quickly as they can because of all the regulation that accompanies offering landlines.

If the FCC wanted to deregulate something, rather than making internet access a wild west, they should relax the regulations around landlines in areas served by broadband or cellular competition, to encourage them to make use of those assets in the ground. Everyone who has DSL of at least 20 Mbps could get at or near a gigabit with G.fast, if we could only get them to want to install it.

Florida man won't be compelled to reveal iPhone passcode, yet

DougS Silver badge

Re: Puzzled

If the government is held to have the right to force you to divulge a password (which IMHO totally destroys the intent of the 5th amendment) then they'd make a felony for putting in a duress password to erase the phone so it wouldn't be a way around it.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Files are not testimony

Don't use a passCODE at all, use a password. Then even if attacks from companies like Cellbrite that are able to reset the flash to enable them to brute force it (the hardware changes in the latest iPhones should make such flash reset based "replay attacks" impossible) still work there's no feasible way for them to brute force your password. Unless, you know, you used "password" I guess...

The D in Systemd stands for 'Dammmmit!' A nasty DHCPv6 packet can pwn a vulnerable Linux box

DougS Silver badge

Re: Meh

Was going to say the same thing, and I disable IPv6 for the exact same reason. IPv6 code isn't as well tested, as well audited, or as well targeted looking for exploits as IPv4. Stuff like this only proves that it was smart to wait, and I should wait some more.

Jeez, not now, Iran... Facebook catches Mid East nation running trolly US, UK politics ads

DougS Silver badge

Such as?

The claims that Iraq had WMDs was a lie, but that wasn't known for sure until it was too late. I don't think anyone would suggest that anyone sharing links to news articles "US claims Iraq has WMDs as justification for war" should have been removed in 2003 (if Facebook had existed then) since whether it is fake news or not couldn't have been judged at that time.

Even then, "US claims blah" is still true even if blah is 100% false. Like it or not, if the US spreads fake news that's still newsworthy to the rest of the world - if for no other reason than that the US would be doing so as part of a larger agenda. If you're about to be on the wrong end of that agenda, you probably want some advance notice.

Californian chap sets his folks' home on fire by successfully taking out spiders with blowtorch

DougS Silver badge


How can one person have been bit by every common spider in the US? While I'm sure I have been at some point and didn't know it, I'm not aware of ever being bit by a spider. I'm certainly not arachnophobic, but I'm also not a fan so I don't go out of my way to bother them unless it is to kill one that commits the grave sin of being seen in my house. Do you have a job that takes you into cellars and crawlspaces or something?

As for werdsmith swallowing pool water, I echo Big John's comment and suggest that the dead black widow was almost certainly the least disgusting thing in that mouthful of water - especially if you were in the San Fernando Valley area of LA (aka "porn valley") If El Reg permitted emojis, here's where I'd type the green faced one that's about to become sick.

DougS Silver badge

Re: blow torch... pfft

Peppermint oil, vinegar, diatomaceous earth, horse chestnuts, cleaning your house

Let's not go crazy with clearly infeasible suggestions, now.

Assange catgate hearing halted as Ecuador hunts around for someone who speaks Australian

DougS Silver badge

Re: Move the embassy

Diplocat killed the mau5.

What a crane in the ass: Bug leaves construction machinery vulnerable to evil command injection

DougS Silver badge

Re: Never should be remotely controllable in the first place

Its probably safer to control it via software than to rely on a person in many cases, especially for a fixed crane that can "know" its surroundings down to the millimeter if necessary.

Sysadmin running a Mac fleet? IBM has just thrown you a lifeline

DougS Silver badge

Check out the Anandtech review which includes SPEC2006 results, which is a far more respected benchmark than Geekbench. Its comparable to a midrange i5/i7 - probably beats the CPUs in everything that Apple will replace on the 30th.

DougS Silver badge

There's a good chance the Macs they announce will be the last of their kind with x86 CPUs. The long awaited Mac Pro next year may be the last x86 Mac ever shipped. The A12 is on par with all but the fastest x86 CPUs, and the A13 or A14 (let alone one purpose designed for laptops/desktops) could seamlessly slot into Macs.

Fat binaries, dynamic translation would take care of all the OS X side issues, the only worry would be Windows. Microsoft kinda/sorta supports ARM64 Windows again, which includes x86->ARM translation, but who knows how long that will continue?

Shingled-minded Western Digital insists its latest hard drive sets disk capacity record

DougS Silver badge

Re: Reliability

Why do you care about "wear"? Hard drives don't wear out from writing like SSDs, and a hot standby that sitting around idle and not spinning might fail immediately once it starts getting used since it isn't getting properly tested.

I'd much rather get the benefit of ALL spindles, and have them all in action so I don't find out the hard way my hot standby was a dud when I need it most.

DougS Silver badge

Wow, a 7% increase

I remember the good old days, when new generations of hard drive had 50 - 100% capacity increases. Without some major capacity increases, hard drives will eventually not make economic sense even for nearline storage.

Tech world mulls threat as new round of US China trade tariffs looms

DougS Silver badge

Re: Foot, meet bullet

The low end unskilled manufacturing is already leaving China because they're too expensive. Companies will keep moving until there are no poor people left to exploit.

Erm... what did you say again, dear reader?

DougS Silver badge

Re: More of a "well reasoned if, erm, somewhat stuffy complaint of the week"

He had a predecessor? AManFromMars0, I assume?

Finally, someone takes a stand against Apple, Samsung for slowing people's phones. Just a few million dollars, tho

DougS Silver badge

Re: So how should Apple have played this?

Yes, the correct way for it to be handled would be for the phone to pop something that basically tells people their battery is being degraded through age, and the phone is slowing down to compensate and giving them an 'ok' button and a 'settings' button to click to go to the right place to change that behavior.

Not telling people was never going to fly - something I'm sure the higher ups would have known but this decision was probably made and implemented by some middle manager and his team, and the execs didn't learn the details until the whole thing blew up in their face.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Phone purchase

Regardless of that, you control whether your phone gets updated. You can refuse them if you don't want them.

At least Apple controls the OS so they can do like they did with iOS 12 and insure that supported phones get faster, or since that won't be possible with every OS release at least not appreciably slower. Samsung has no control over Android, so if Google releases the next version of Android with more eye candy that's more demanding of CPU/GPU/memory then it will by necessity run slower on existing hardware. To avoid such fines, Samsung would decide not to provide that Android update for existing hardware.

What would be their alternative, turn off the eye candy, fix Google's code?

DougS Silver badge

Unintended consequences

So basically one way for OEMs to avoid these sorts of fines are to quit supporting them with software updates if they aren't 100% certain the performance will not degrade. If Samsung didn't offer a major Android update (i.e. Android 7 to 8 or whatever) in Italy to avoid that potential, would the Italians be ending up better or worse off as a result of that fine?

DougS Silver badge

Re: So will Apple get a refund for iOS 12

Being fined a few million euro isn't going to change Apple's direction. I think they finally woke up to people saying that each version since iOS 7 seemed to be a bit less polished than the last - that's definitely gotta be due to Jobs' absence since he never would have tolerated the sort of lack of attention to detail issues that have come since.

I wish every software vendor had a "polish/performance" release now and again since everyone suffers from this, because software developers like to create new features not fix things that are hardly noticeable or refactor code for a 20% speedup.

Now that they've finally got everything on ARM64, they are probably looking to lengthen support cycles even longer than they already were - i.e. iPhone 5S still being supported by iOS 12 even though it will be six years old by the time iOS 13 rolls around (and I wouldn't be surprised if it supports the 5S also) If you keep supporting that old hardware you have to make sure the OS isn't being wasteful of resources - making it run faster on that hardware like they did (and was confirmed by someone who benchmarked it) is the best way to assure that.

AMD's shares get in a plane, take off and soar to 12,000 ft – then throw open the door, and fall into the cool rushing air

DougS Silver badge

Re: Looks like idiot machines

They're only unprofitable if you have to pay for power. I'll bet there are a fair number of smaller operations that are sitting in basements of apartment or office buildings sucking down "free" electricity.

Also, if you have electric heat you might as well get some value out of what you pay for heat, there being no difference in cost to power a 1500 watt resistance heater and a 1500 watt quad GPU mining rig.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Looks like idiot machines

No, the price crashed because of the drop in GPU sales that analysts didn't expect. They liked AMD better when it appeared they were in two growing markets. Now they're in one growing market (at least until Intel gets their act together) and one shrinking market, which hobbles their earnings expectations for the next few quarters - which is about as far ahead as most analysts look these days.

Excuse me, but have you heard the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Chr-AI-st?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Accuracy

The "original text" meaning the oldest source we still have. What books the Council of Trent decided to include or not include is irrelevant to getting at the original meaning of the books they did include.

There were obviously politics around the choice of what books to include There was also at least as much politics around the choice of how things were translated into Latin, and how over a millennium later they were translated from Latin (which was already "gamed" in ways the Catholic church wanted) a second time to English.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Accuracy

If they wanted accuracy, they would have translated it from the original text, not the poorly done King James version. That would be a lot more work for them, though.

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...

DougS Silver badge

The goal wasn't to provide something an AI could actually use, but find how humans attach values to different outcomes. I am surprised that a rich person is more valued, but other than that it looked like about what you'd expect.

Obviously a car can't tell if someone is a young fit millionaire or old drunk homeless person, but it could tell the difference between a child and an adult, or child and raccoon.

However, I believe the trolley problem is irrelevant. IMHO, the rule should ALWAYS be "don't leave the road if it means injuring people". People who are on the sidewalk should have an expectation of safety - they are where they're supposed to be. If that means that a self driving car with five occupants plows into another self driving car with five occupants and all die, versus killing one fat old homeless criminal on the sidewalk, so be it. People in vehicles implicitly accept some amount of risk with that mode of travel in exchange for getting where they are going faster, not getting rained on etc.

DougS Silver badge

Re: The most hated people in society.

They did, but the bars were much too large to fit in that graph.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Who's gonna buy it?

That makes a good case that there needs to be some sort of standard for how it should behave that all cars must obey. You can't choose a Volvo because it'll always mow down school children to save your life, nor can you hack your Toyota to do the same.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019