* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

If at first you don't succeed, Fold? Nope. Samsung redesigns bendy screen for fresh launch in September

DougS Silver badge

"Another Samsung failure"

Samsung's modus operandi is to sling a bunch of shit at the wall and see what sticks. They will follow the hype, or do something because their engineers said "hey with this new technology so-and-so is now possible" and see how the market receives it.

They didn't care if curved TVs worked or not, when they were able to manufacture curved panels they thought it was worth a try because they'd have some differentiation. They feel the same about folding phones, now that they can produce panels that can fold they think it is worth a try. If it doesn't sell, maybe they'll try again in a few years either because they've improved the technology and can do it right, or because someone else has started to have some success doing it.

DougS Silver badge

It would be great if it doubled the display area

If it started as a square. It ends as a square, and nothing anyone watches fits in a square. Having a 16:9 video with huge black bars that take away 7/8th of the size of you gained by unfolding it is worthless.

Folding phones won't become useful until they're trifold, so you can start and end with a 16:9 (ish) form factor.

Airbus A350 software bug forces airlines to turn planes off and on every 149 hours

DougS Silver badge

You had a Windows 95 PC that lasted for 149 hours? They could hardly last that long if you let them sit, let alone if you used them for anything!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Boeing 787

So it was 40x better!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Echoes of the Patriot missiles in Gulf War 1.0 ..

Hard to see how such an error occurs:

aim_vector = aim_vector + hours_since_last_reboot

Sounds like code written by a defense contractor wanting to insure they could require 24x7 onsite staff to help maintain it. Oh wait...

DougS Silver badge

The fact Boeing's fault is much worse doesn't make this fault a non issue as you claim. Whataboutism isn't a defense when it comes to aircraft.

DougS Silver badge
Devil

Re: "CPIOM is effectively a mini computer"

The huge Winchester disks serve a dual purpose as a gyro to help stabilize flight.

DougS Silver badge

Re: 6 days ! WTF ?

The VNX is not Symmetrix, it is their midrange product. The VNX is to the Symmetrix what an ATR regional jet is to the A350.

DougS Silver badge

I wouldn't assume it is something neat like milliseconds

It could be counter that counts cycles on some CPU or bus somewhere to generate a unique 'event' timestamp, and if it happens to be clocked at 333.625 MHz then it would overflow a 32 bit value in exactly 149 hours (though that "exactly" is probably rounded down from 149.something)

DougS Silver badge

Is the counter

Even accessible to pilots, or is it just some hidden value no one can see so the maintenance guys will need to put a stick in the windshield like the ones Jiffy Lube puts in the upper left of your car's that tells you what mileage you should change the oil at next.

DougS Silver badge
Trollface

Re: "...need to be hard rebooted after exactly 149 hours"

I'm sure the passengers won't mind when everything goes dark and silent, and they hear the engines restarting one by one. They could do it when people are sleeping.

Here we go: Uncle Sam launches antitrust probe into *cough* Facebook, Google *cough* Amazon *splutter* Twitter...

DougS Silver badge

Re: Too Easy

You really believe Trump is being managed by someone? He's a loose cannon, the only way to control him is if you control what the people on Fox's morning show and Hannity say. That's who he listens to, one of his few redeeming features is that he doesn't care what the Koch brothers want. They certainly don't want tariffs, so if they were controlling him he'd be talking tough about China and the government would be filing WTO complaints about some of their practices.

DougS Silver badge

Re: What's the purpose of the googles?

They have a monopoly of Trump's social media attention, so as far as he's concerned they're a monopoly if a "conservative voice" is silenced.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Too Easy

Purpose of Trump tariff war with China is to persuade the public that tariffs against China are bad

This may be why republicans are (mostly) supporting Trump in his tariff war when they have been anti tariff since forever, but it certainly isn't why Trump is doing it. He really believes it is a smart tactic, and that "trade wars are easy to win". As with everything, he's too stupid to realize how stupid he is, so he thinks he's a genius and knows more about trade than anyone else.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Too Easy

But Trump will be using monopoly as an excuse to try to force them to unban his alt right buddies, because anytime a conservative is "silenced" it is censorship, anytime a liberal is silenced it is "because they are antifa crazies".

It's Prime Minister Boris Johnson: Tech industry speaks its brains on Brexit-monger's victory

DougS Silver badge

Re: Ha ha! </Nelson>

the uncommitted voters will have to weigh up which is the lesser of evils

You have too much faith in voters if you think they will "weigh up" anything. Most people respond emotionally, which is why candidates slinging mud and calling names always beat those who talk policy and solutions.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Ha ha! </Nelson>

Whoever the democrats nominate Trump will claim he or she is a socialist regardless of views. His strategy is pretty clear - he knows his popularity ceiling is about 45% so he needs to make enough democrats dislike their nominee and stay home, as he did in 2016. Problem is, he had a 25 year head start from the right in spewing Hillary hate, he'll have to do that in 6-9 months with the 2020 nominee.

Funny how republicans used to deride democrats as "liberals" but liberal isn't a dirty word outside of hardcore republican circles anymore, so they have to take it to the next level. Having an avowed "democratic socialist" running helps I guess, but it will be hard to paint most of them with that brush. Especially when the "socialist" policies they advocate for like some form of single payer / nationalized health care are now popular with a clear majority of Americans. All the effort republicans spent trying to hamstring Obamacare and insure it wasn't a success worked, but not in the way they wanted.

DougS Silver badge

Ha ha! </Nelson>

Now you can't make fun of us for Trump anymore, and hopefully we can correct our mistake before you correct yours!

Seriously though, I guess this means hard Brexit since he won't be able to negotiate anything Parliament will pass any more than May did. The outcome of that can't lead to him being in power very long before he's pushed out like May was. I think a lot of people in government want to see him there because they know whoever is in No. 10 when the effects of Brexit are finally felt will get a lot of blame. Everyone else wants to be the 'white knight' who comes in after them and picks up the pieces (or blames everything on BoJo the clown)

Virgin Media promises speeds of 1Gpbs to 15 million homes – all without full fibre

DougS Silver badge

There's zero reason that all the customers will want 1 Gbps at the same time though. There's no use case for such speeds for the home user.

DOCSIS 3.1 provides about 10 gigabits of download capacity, so it is oversubscribed but to what extent depends on how many people share the same node.

An amendment of DOCSIS 3.1 uses the same RF spectrum on the cable for simultaneously upload and download, and thus provides fully symmetric speed. If this offering from Virgin is coming rather than already installed, if you're lucky they'll use equipment that supports that. Because usually it is the much lower upload capacity that causes problems - a few people doing bittorrent is all that's needed to soak it up and then ACKs get delayed and everything slows down.

Presumably someone has designed or is working on a switched DOCSIS node, then you won't share your bandwidth with anyone on the node. It will be just like DSL and fiber at that point - the only barrier to getting your full speed will be upstream of the node.

Screw MSPAC, man: Not in our name, Microsoft staff tell firm's political donation vehicle

DougS Silver badge

Re: Ban Them All

I think organizations shouldn't be allowed to donate money. It should be individual donations only, and all records of such donations should be public. If some rich guy wants to donate to every single republican in the country running for offices from dog catcher to president, that's fine so long as they don't donate over the limit for any one of them.

Corporations, PACs, unions, non profits etc. should not be able to donate a single penny to politicians, or spend anything to "lobby" for their pet causes (which is just a way of bribing officials as lobbyists can treat them to dinners, golf trips and so on, and hire them once they leave office)

Low Barr: Don't give me that crap about security, just put the backdoors in the encryption, roars US Attorney General

DougS Silver badge

Re: Barr is thinking of the future

By FAR the leading candidate for the cause of the drop in crime was unleaded gasoline, By going back and checking car registrations in various counties you can track the drop on a county by county level as leaded gas cars were retired. The peak happened first in rich counties and last in poor counties, as you would expect since they were using many more older cars.

If it was Roe v Wade that could potentially account for a decrease in crime, but would offer zero explanation for the increase in crime in the decades leading up until the peak in the early 90s. It also wouldn't account for the fact that the peak happened over a 10+ year period depending on where it was the US it was. Besides, birth control has a far larger affect than abortion in letting people decide if/when to have babies.

DougS Silver badge

Barr can propose this all he wants

Big Tech will sue, and get a stay from the courts because of the difficulty of implementing this (especially for end to end stuff like iMessage etc.) Then it will go through the courts, and THEY will determine whether it violates the fourth amendment, not Trump toady Barr.

It would take long enough that Barr will be long gone before it is decided, and we will hopefully have much less stupidity at the top of the DoJ.

Google pays out $13m to make Wi-Spy scandal go away: Bung goes to peeps and privacy orgs

DougS Silver badge

$3 million divided amongst 22 plaintiffs?

I guess lawsuits can be lucrative for someone other than the lawyers if you can avoid having your lawsuit going class action!

Equifax to world+dog: If we give you this $700m, can you pleeeeease stop suing us about that mega-hack thing?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Passing the loss to the shareholders is fine

Companies that offer ESPPs often require holding the stock for a certain number of years before being full vested, when purchased below market price. These programs would be less attractive at companies where the employees suspected management was playing fast and loose with the regulations.

Thousands of employees at the big banks knew how poor their mortgage underwriting standards were, if they thought there was a chance of losing their stock they'd either not participate in ESPPs or sell them early and lose the vested part. Probably fewer would know about the Equifax breach, but the IT people would at least know how little attention they paid to security, and tell their friends in other parts of the company "sell your stock, it is a matter of time before disaster strikes!"

DougS Silver badge

Re: Passing the loss to the shareholders is fine

But why not fine the company itself? That way the loss is distributed equally to shareholders, and without the huge expense of administering a special tax for trades/dividends on those shares to collect the fine (and it wouldn't be distributed equally - if I hold my shares and the stock pays no dividend I get off scot free)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Passing the loss to the shareholders is fine

Its not that simple, it isn't like the market cap of a stock is a bank account, you can't "down the value" by a specific amount. What I suggest is really an all or nothing thing. Either you zero the value of the stock/bonds or you fine, there is no middle ground. The zeroing would be done only for egregious cases where the corporation deserves the "death penalty", for lesser cases a fine would continue to be the only viable option.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Passing the loss to the shareholders is fine

There would be need to be laws that give employees a choice - and the stock market might pay attention to the investment level of the employees. They see a company where the employees own little stock they might think "they know something" and stay away themselves.

DougS Silver badge

Passing the loss to the shareholders is fine

The behavior we want is for companies like Equifax to take security breaches seriously, "too big to fail" banks to take knowingly making bad loans seriously, etc. The way you do that is to make sure that shareholders and bondholders lose everything in the event of a major breach of trust, and this definitely qualifies.

If there was a possibility of losing everything, shareholders would force management to assign a much higher priority to keeping information secure, acting ethically etc. They'd also insist on management having skin in the game so they'd probably force them to earn their bonuses in stock and hold it for several years before they could sell it. Then the interest of management, shareholders and consumers would all be aligned as far as preventing security breaches or other breaches of trust.

Making them pay a fine, no matter how large, doesn't accomplish this. They need a "death penalty" for a corporation - not one that ends the corporation because you don't want to punish employees for bad decisions of management. One that zeroes out the stockholders and bondholders of the company. Hit the 1% where it hurts, and behavior will change.

Checkmate, Qualcomm: Apple in billion-dollar bid to gobble Intel’s 5G modem blueprints, staff – new claim

DougS Silver badge

Re: I don't get it.

The baseband software is extremely complex. Hardware wise a modem isn't that difficult, it is far simpler than designing a CPU, it is the software that makes a modem so much harder than wifi.

While yes there are 'standards', a lot of it is ad hoc. It is more like writing a browser back in the IE6 days when webservers treated standards as "what IE6 does" rather than what the specs say. A lot of it ends up being "what Qualcomm does".

DougS Silver badge

Re: Repeat, do again.

Why would they have purchased Intel's Marvel business before the iPhone was announced? They hadn't even bought CPU design companies back then, it took a few years for them to reach the scale where it started to make sense to design their hardware. Sure it would have been nice for them if they had been designing their own modems from day one, but it isn't realistic.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Is it worth the cost ?

They don't need to be the equal of Qualcomm's designs, just "good enough". Does anyone bother benchmarking the different wifi chips in various phones to see which ones are the fastest? So why should they bother with cellular, because as with wifi once you are in the hundreds of Mbps any difference no longer matters.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Good Luck with That

Apple had already been working on their own modem, and knew that Qualcomm was going to go after them when they finished it. By buying Intel's cellular IP they have a much better chance to defend themselves. They won't have as much as Qualcomm, but they'll have a lot more than they have today (they acquired Nortel's old IP some years ago, which includes some LTE patents but obviously no 5G)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Good Luck with That

People said the same thing when Apple started designing their own CPU cores - how can Apple hope to compete with companies that have been doing it for decades. It didn't take long before their cores were easily the best ARM cores, and today despite their low power draw they're competitive with all but Intel's highest end desktop chips.

Designing modems is actually a much easier proposition hardware wise than designing CPUs, the DSP and baseband software is the overwhelmingly more difficult part of designing a good modem. The reason Qualcomm's modems work so well is because they are so dominant that they're the defacto standard for what the companies writing the software in the towers test against. It is like when IE dominated the web and everyone was writing for and testing against IE. It wasn't that IE was better, it is that it was dominant.

Qualcomm's baseband software is also littered with exploitable issues (some believe put there deliberately at the rest of the NSA) so Apple controlling their own baseband software is the most important part of this for Apple in the long run.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Good Luck with That

Realistically there's no one other than Apple who would be developing a NEW cellular modem in 2019. The only other customers for Intel's stuff were companies like Qualcomm, Samsung, etc. who would want the IP to add to their patent warchests. The open market was never going to gain a competitor to Qualcomm.

DougS Silver badge

That's a risk you always take when buying a "team", but I'm pretty sure Apple is mostly interested in the IP. They already had their own team working on it, getting Intel's IP and designs will help accelerate that process by a few years - the hardware is easy it is the baseband software that's the complex part of a modern modem.

Probably the reason why there were rumors Intel was going to "auction" the business is because they wanted to get Apple worried that they might not be able to get that IP. Maybe they got Apple to up their offer and that's why the deal is supposed to be close to done.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Is it worth the cost ?

For the IP alone it probably is, because Apple will need a big patent warchest to defend against Qualcomm's inevitable lawsuits when they ship their first phones containing their own modem. Apple has already been working on designing their own modem, and had already hired some of the Intel people as well as some former Qualcomm employees.

I doubt they are all that interested in most of Intel's employees, those 'top designers' who left Intel when they announced this probably sent their resume straight to Apple already. The run of the mill guys they can get anywhere - most of Intel's modem design team was in India and I doubt Apple is interested in having the work done there.

Hi. Sorry, we're still grinding Huawei at this: UK govt once again puts off decision to ban Chinese giant from 5G

DougS Silver badge

Re: What is interesting to me

If you list Cisco amongst those with proven backdoors then you have to list Huawei too, since they were proven to have used stolen Cisco code in their devices - discovered because they were "bug for bug" compatible even with the nasty security holes some believe were deliberate backdoors.

God DRAM you! Prices to slide more than 40% in 2019 because chip makers can't forecast

DougS Silver badge

Re: Can they switch production to GPUs?

DRAM is made on a totally different process than CPUs/GPUs. NAND is even more different. It isn't possible to switch production between the three, even though they are all "chips".

When you play the game of Big Spendy Thrones, nobody wins – your crap chair just goes missing

DougS Silver badge

Re: Disassembling chairs

If the "good deal" was more than 10% off, then I guess it was a good deal after all...

Brussels changes its mind AGAIN on .EU domains: Euro citizens in post-Brexit Britain can keep them after all

DougS Silver badge

Re: Domains based on citizenship?

I really doubt the US polices that too carefully, but there is little demand for them. I've only ever seen city government and schools using it, I've never seen a company that uses it.

I'll bet the only reason people want to use .eu domains is because the .com they wanted was taken.

Literally braking news: Two people hurt as not one but two self-driving space-age buses go awry

DougS Silver badge

Re: Here's what's really bad

If they'd recorded what the sensor sensed they would KNOW what caused the emergency stop. They don't, so they must not have recorded whatever it was.

DougS Silver badge

Here's what's really bad

The data shows it wasn't a false reading, but we aren't sure what caused the shuttle to initiate the emergency stop," he said. "We feel very confident that this is not an accident that will repeat itself."

So they they aren't sure what caused the shuttle to decide it needs to stop, but are still "very confident" this won't happen again? BASED ON WHAT?! I can pretty much guarantee it WILL happen again...and again...and again until they understand what caused it make that emergency stop. If a single sensor indicating something is in the path is enough to stop it, would a bird trigger it? Would an insect, if it is really close to the sensor? Or maybe the sensor is flawed, or the software is flawed.

Idiots like these operating autonomous vehicles before they are ready are going to set the industry back years, because they aren't willing to admit the technology is nowhere near ready to be deployed for real world use. Having something driving around and gathering data is one thing, it can err on the side of caution without injuring anyone.

There's no way they should let the public ride this at this stage, but clearly they consider publicity more important than public safety.

Enjoying that 25Mbps internet speed, America? Oh, it's just 6Mbps? And you're unhappy? Can't imagine why

DougS Silver badge

It isn't by zip code

It is by census block. This is about the size of a city block in urban areas, but in rural areas a single census block may be several square miles in size and can easily encompass that one house that happens be on a main highway or other easy to serve area, so the maximum speed that person would be eligible for gets counted for the whole census block.

Here's the trick though - in rural areas often a house will be well off the main road - you might have a driveway 1000 ft long. Call up the cable company to get service and they'll quote you thousands of dollars for install. A telco that offers fiber to the home would charge even more. But hey, if that one house is "eligible" for gigabit fiber it doesn't matter if they'd have to pay a $15,000 install cost, they can count that census block as being gigabit.

And of course the reports are based on advertised speeds not measured speeds, so a cable company that's oversubscribed can sell you a gigabit but you'll never see that, and get a fraction of it during peak times when everyone is streaming Netflix. DSL doesn't suffer from the oversubscription problem, but people further away from the DSLAM or who have impaired lines can't get the maximum speeds on offer. The speed they can offer to the house in the census block that's closest to the DSLAM is what would count for the broadband report, even if most of the houses are too far away to even be sold DSL!

You'll never guess what US mad lads Throwflame have strapped to a drone (clue: it does exactly what it says on the tin)

DougS Silver badge
Joke

Re: The numbers don't add up...

If the drone is on fire all that hot air will make it two pounds lighter!

DougS Silver badge

The minute someone uses it "in anger"

Flamethrowers will be banned in the US, and drones carrying weapons of any type will be banned.

I wonder if the NRA would protest a flamethrower ban as being a "slippery slope" to eroding the second amendment, or would ignore it since it doesn't fit the definition of "firearm".

Apollo 11 @ 50: The long shadow of the flag

DougS Silver badge

Kennedy's assassination is probably the only reason we walked on the Moon

PBS had a really good documentary about this recently. Shortly before his death he was already having to fight congress (which his own party controlled!) for sufficient funds, and NASA was already running into delays that threatened to push the timetable past the end of the decade.

The reason we were able to maintain a national will to go the Moon and spend what needed to be spent to do so, was primarily in his memory. If not for that, and especially if he'd been voted out in 1964, it would have ended up on the scrap heap along with every other president since Reagan (I don't think he talked about going to the Moon or Mars) who at one time or another wanted to channel their inner Kennedy and announce another "moonshot". They've all disappeared under the waves within a couple years, to the point where when Obama and now Trump talk about it, people just laugh because we know damn well nothing will happen. Even if funds to make it happen are budgeted for the first year, as costs begin to rise it is an easy cut to make to allow funding another budget initiative while claiming "no increase of deficit" for that initiative.

For all the complaints people had about Nixon as a president, the words he said when we landed on the Moon were as historic and noble as the words Kennedy uttered when he made going to the Moon a national priority. Imagine if Trump was president when that had happened, he'd first take credit for it claiming "no other president could have done this", then complain about the Mueller investigation and democrats, and for a finishing touch add a little white supremacy by praising Von Braun and "say what you want about Hitler, he knew rockets, if it weren't for the Nazis we couldn't have gone to the Moon. They did a lot of bad things, but they did a lot of good things too. There were very fine people - on both sides - of WW II".

2025: HELLO? WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU, I'M ON THE TUBE. FULL 4G NOW. NAH, IT'S CRAP

DougS Silver badge

Re: Give it to Vodafone ..

If Trump says something, 40% of the US believes it even when it isn't true. Maybe BoJo the clown has the same effect, and he can get 40% of Londoners to believe Vodafone's 5G covers all of London?

Guess who reserved their seat on the first Moon flight? My mum, that's who

DougS Silver badge

Re: The best bit of _2001_

Maybe after the date passes all brands placed into a movie about the future no longer survive. Look out (all restaurants are now) Taco Bell, your number will be up soon!

Operation Desert Sh!tstorm: Routine test shoots down military's top-secret internets

DougS Silver badge

This story indicates they weren't doing full DR scenario tests

You not only want to test your redundancy, you want to (at least once,but preferably more often like once a year) test what happens when your redundancy you spent millions on to make fail-proof fails.

Had they done that here, and tested what happens when the redundant generator circuits plus the backup local generator plus the backup battery bank all fail and you have no power, they would have identified the issue with lacking access to start the VMs. They might have also identified who needs those backup analog phone connections, and created a policy to shut down non essential services immediately if running on battery.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I'm so glad we kept one!

And if you do it correctly, you get rid of a lot of dead wood in management as well, collecting the reduction bonus as well

BOFH, is that you?

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