* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Former FBI boss Comey used private email for official business – DoJ

DougS Silver badge

Re: timesheets!

"Sorry, I always expect to work a full day Friday but then I wake up and realize I don't feel like going to work like I expected to"

Swiss cops will 'tolerate' World Cup rabble-rousers – for 60 minutes

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No baths at night?

What about flushing the toilet, that's much noisier than draining a tub.

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Re: 'Rugby is not followed much in Switzerland'

Everyone has barking dogs 24/7 and 5 am parties are common

If the dogs are all barking 24/7, I'm pretty sure they're getting into the "party favors" of those 5am ragers!

BOFH: Got that syncing feeling, hm? I've looked at your computer and the Outlook isn't great

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Re: Human deviousness

The downvotes are probably because you admitted you actually aren't destroying anything - BOFH articles attract a certain type, after all!

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Re: Cheers, Simon!

I wonder if you lie as much as certain people do, whether you can actually enter the death zone like on Everest. One can only hope!

Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android

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Personally I find Location Tracking really useful, but then I have nothing to hide...

-- Anonymous Coward

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Re: Google might drop Android anyway.

The lack of "European tech" may or may not be a problem for you, but the lack of Linux drivers for Fuchsia phones will be.

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Re: Banks

You want to detect rooting because like it or not malware is a lot more likely to be found on a rooted Android phone, since it is easier to install dodgy stuff on it. Just because YOU may be smart about what you install on a rooted phone doesn't mean that's generally true. A lot of people do it to avoid paying for stuff, and it is only a matter of time before those people have some nasty stuff on their phone.

A keylogger is a pretty good way of stealing someone's banking password, and even if the bank uses two factor authentication it is most likely phone, text or email based which are all easy to overcome if you p0wned someone's phone. If your bank offers a separate token then I suppose it wouldn't matter what crap is running on your phone but not many banks do.

DougS Silver badge

Re: It's simple: open STANDARDS

That's why you need some big company to decide it wants to leave Google behind, and see the value in selling phones without Google (and resisting their own urge to replace Google's data collection with their own)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Good luck

Why would you need to turn to "comparatively small manufacturers"? The large majority of phones sold in China are Google free, just look at one of the big brands there like Xiaomi or Oppo.

DougS Silver badge


Looking forward to one day seeing EELO iPhone as well

Did you really mean to type that? What would be the point of an iPhone running completely different software? OK the hardware is better than Android alternatives in some ways (chiefly CPU performance, and the odd feature that Apple does first like 3D face scanning) but comes up short in others so I don't know why it would be worth doing this - and I say that as an iPhone owner for nine years now.

Not that it matters, there is no open source driver for Apple's proprietary GPU (among other things) nor any documentation from which someone could write it - and it would be a moving target every year! That's just one of a half dozen intractable issues I see blocking this idea.

Apple will throw forensics cops off the iPhone Lightning port every hour

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Yes, but those using the classic SL1200s (ah, I remember them well from my club DJ days...) will have time coded 12" 45 rpm records for when they want to use a digital source, whether that's off an iDevice, computer, or what have you. Very very few DJs are still 100% analog.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Aiding and Abetting

Let me guess, you're one of those "if you have nothing to hide" idiots who has no problem giving away your freedom if it makes you a little less fearful of all the Bad Guys you're scared are out to get you?

Not sure why this change would be "aiding and abetting terrorists" but making iMessage use encryption or allowing people to put a password on their GMail account isn't - those also make the FBI's job more difficult...

DougS Silver badge

Lightning isn't USB

It can act as USB, but it can also act as Lightning. That is, disabling the USB functionality doesn't have to disable the Lightning functionality, so any sort of digital audio Lightning connection wouldn't be impacted by this change.

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Re: Just wondering

You don't have to turn on the 'nuclear' option, just use a password instead of a passcode. They wouldn't even try to brute force that, it would take forever.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Just wondering

It isn't clear how Cellbrite et al's PIN finder works, though presumably Apple got their hands on one at some point so you would think they should have been able to fix whatever they were doing to brute force the passcodes.

This fix is more elegant though, since 99% of the time you haven't entered your password within the last hour even if the cops get your phone while it is unlocked (or force to finger/face unlock it) the USB port will be disabled.

I have to think that the FBI is going to have a hissy fit about this - but they're going to play it coy and wait for a headline terrorist incident or school shooting investigation that is hampered by this before they do to try again to get the public on their side like they failed to do with San Bernadino.

Ex-Rolls-Royce engineer nicked on suspicion of giving F-35 info to China

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Re: 1st Gen Swarm Tech?

Making fully autonomous drones in a decade is easily doable - we will almost certainly have self driving cars by then and driving on windy obstacle covered roads where you can't hit anything is a far more complex problem than flying in a wide open airspace where you're TRYING to hit stuff.

The US just isn't putting any real money into that because the retired flyboys in the Pentagon know the day that arrives it will be the end of the fighter jock and the Air Force will be run by the computer geeks. China's government doesn't care about the egos of the pilots, so they'll get there first.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Who designs these things?

The design is done by engineers and people in combat, but then the generals get their say and have a kitchen sink full of features they want to add that they remember hearing about in some blue sky think tank briefing about future combat technologies, and then the politicians get their say and divide up the work so there's some pork in almost every one of the 435 congressional districts in the US (the pork in my district is the design of the avionics and those fancy helmets)

That's how you stop people from worrying about how big the defense budget is, and how expensive weapons systems are - they can't speak out against the F35 or their opponent will blame them for trying to kill local jobs. In a way it would be better for the US if none of our military gear was built here - then we'd be spending money overseas and politicians will be a lot more careful about how much was spent!

DougS Silver badge

Re: 1st Gen Swarm Tech?

This is why I think that China getting the F35 technology is a non-issue, they probably aren't going to build STOVL aircraft. They're going to do what the US should do and build cheap unmanned combat drones that will obsolete manned fighters within a decade (Iong before F35 is done)

Without a pilot to keep alive they can be very cheap. They don't need weapons if they kill kinetically, though I suppose a 50 cal gun probably wouldn't be a terrible idea to harass ground targets. They don't need supersonic flight, just stick a solid rocket booster up their ass they can light up when they go for the kinetic kill.

China will beat the west to drone swarms because the US Air Force is run by former pilots and they don't want to see unmanned aircraft succeed. They're like the old cavalry guys who stood in the way of tanks as long as they could. Just like they had to see enemy tanks in action to admit they were the future, so will the US need to send manned fighters into combat against a swarm of 1000 drones that cost a fraction of what a fighter group did to see the writing on the wall.

The eyes have it: 'DeepFakes' bogus AI-meddled videos outed by unblinking gaze

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Big Brother

Re: Repudiating democratic norms

You could repudiate democratic norms while not blinking, so you have deniability later that you didn't really say it and call "fake news" on the media for reporting on it. Double win!

Keep your hands on the f*cking wheel! New Tesla update like being taught to drive by your dad

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30 seconds is still WAY too long

A car will travel a kilometer at highway speeds during those 30 seconds. I see no reason not to warn people after 2-3 seconds if they take both their hands off the wheel - exactly why should people be doing so at all when they're SUPPOSED TO BE DRIVING?!

The only reason Tesla drivers want to be able to take their hands off the wheel for that long or longer is because they're doing something which ALSO distracts them from watching what's going on, like sending a text message, reading the next email on their laptop, or using one hand to load another video on pornhub.

Maybe cops need to pull up alongside Teslas and if they see drivers without hands on the wheel for more than a few seconds, pull them over and write them a big fat ticket. Might be the only way to get through to the morons before their poorly designed autopilot that can't reliably see stationary objects directly in the front of the car kills someone.

Thought the AT&T Time-Warner tie-up was scary? Comcast says 'hold my beer'

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Re: This shouldn't be approved

But there was no advantage to NBC and RCA being in the same company, it would be impossible for them to shut out other radio makers from NBC programming or to make NBC content cheaper when listened to on RCA radios. Not so with Comcast/Disney, the vertical integration has a lot of potential negative consequences - only the government could stop them from e.g. ESPN exclusives on Comcast alone.

DougS Silver badge

This shouldn't be approved

Because Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal was allowed, it could be argued that AT&T's purchase of Time Warner couldn't be rejected. After all, it was basically the same thing - a cable/satellite provider purchasing a content company.

If this purchase goes through Comcast will own TWO major content companies, which would of course allow AT&T to try to purchase more. Kind of surprised Dish or Spectrum haven't been sniffing around Disney trying to get bought and create a third vertical competitor.

AI built to track you through walls because, er, Parkinsons?

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Re: Wrong type of wall

The nice thing about 2'6" interior walls is that when you renovate you can greatly enlarge your interior space :)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wrong type of wall

Talking about reflections and stuff it is clear they are talking about doing this from INSIDE a structure, so meter thick stone walls on the outside of a building aren't a problem - I assume few buildings have those on the inside?

Doing this from the outside would a problem even for modern construction, since in the US except for cheapest possible construction that ignores efficiency it means reflective foil wrap on the entire envelope of walls and roof except for windows and doors - and the windows are likely low-e glass with a metal layer, and most doors these days are foam filled steel. And people wonder why they get such terrible cellular reception in their new house when its 5 bars in their backyard...

This HTC U12+ review page is left intentionally blank

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If you're gonna wait, why not wait a year?

I'm sure the software will be even better then! If a company thinks a product is finished enough to release it to reviewers, they can't complain if reviews are poor because they shipped a broken product planning to "fix it later". What incentive is there for a company to actually fix things before shipment if reviewers give them a pass when they ship something that's not ready?

Would El Reg be as charitable if Apple released new iPhones this September with a glaring software bug that affected their usability and decide "well we'll review it in October after they've had a chance to fix it"

Trump's ZTE deal challenged by Senate

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Re: Where is Big John? Where is Bom.Bob?

I'm not sure but I doubt they were big Trump supporters until he became their party's leader. When he goes strongly against the grain of republican orthodoxy by supporting China in this case or more generally in his more protectionist mode threatening tariffs on everything, you don't seem to see them defending him on that stuff. They're conservatives, not Trumpists.

Note that they scream the loudest for standard conservative principles that any republican president would be supporting, whether he was named Trump, Bush, or Pence. They defend strongly against the Russian collusion story not because Trump denies it but because Fox News denies it.

If Mueller releases evidence and Fox was to change their tune (Murdoch is good at knowing which way the wind is blowing, so this isn't as impossible as you think) I wouldn't be surprised to see them cease in their defense of him. They'll be talking about how it won't matter, because Pence wasn't involved (which he probably wasn't, though I imagine he knew a few things and looked the other way)

Intel confirms it’ll release GPUs in 2020

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Re: Beat them on packaging?

Intel's biggest problem will be delivering drivers that don't suck, something they've had a lot of problems doing in the graphics world even at lower performance levels. They can make the best GPU hardware there is but if the drivers don't work people won't buy them.

Kepler finds three Earth-sized exoplanets, but they're too hot to handle

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Too hot for us

But not necessarily too hot for life. I wasn't aware the Kepler was searching for future homes for humans...

Australia, Solomon Islands to ink Huawei-free cable contract today

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Re: The third funder for the cable.

but I sure as shit do not like their form of government

Why, because you still think they're communist or because you've realized they're actually a corporatocracy, just like Russia?

Facebook tells users to report crappy customer service from advertisers

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Thumb Up

Will this work for politicians?

They'll never get higher than about a two star rating out of five - and that's if their party fully supports them. So ideally we should stop seeing political ads if we rate all our politicians with one star!

That was quick: Seattle rushes to kill tax that would mildly inconvenience Amazon

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Re: "overturn its earlier decision"

Or perhaps more likely Amazon threatened to leave if the plan was implemented.

Tesla undecimates its workforce but Elon insists everything's absolutely fine

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Re: Unfortunately necessary

EVs are obviously more attractive in European countries where petrol costs FAR more than it does in the US. While electricity generally costs more there as well, its cost is generally more stable and bounded by the cost of renewable generated electricity.

Trump kept ZTE alive as ‘personal favour’ to Chinese president Xi

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Re: @DougS ... "... thought his real family were from Raxacoricofallapatorius"

Russia will be a bigger winner - Putin is counting the days to when Trump pulls US military forces out of South Korea. He was already talking about how Japan and Korea need to be self sufficient for defense on the campaign trail - no doubt the Russian interests that infested his campaign like Flynn put that particular bug in his ear.

They'll also be able to resume trade with North Korea over the small border they share, allowing them to export energy and food from parts of Russia that are too far from other markets to make it reasonable to fully exploit.

Trump was played like a fiddle by China and Russia, the "best dealmaker" is so easily manipulated its pathetic. A denuclearized and US free Korean peninsula is China and Russia's dream, and Japan's greatest fear - but in Trump's world our allies are our enemies and our enemies are our BFFs...

DougS Silver badge

Perhaps he's your one downvote. Cut him a break, even true believers like him can't defend EVERYTHING Trump does.

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Re: "... thought his real family were from Raxacoricofallapatorius"

Trump will claim the North Korea summit was a success just like Clinton and Bush claimed their peace deals were a success. It is 100% impossible to verify North Korea's compliance because they've had YEARS to hide nukes where we will never find them. Estimates range from 20 to 60 nukes, so they can hand over 30 and say that's all of them, and we'll never know different.

Though in reality the whole process takes so long that Trump could easily be out of office by the time North Korea is found cheating, and he'll blame the next administration (even if his current VP is that "next administration") for the failure and maintain he made a great deal.

The idea that North Korea would EVER give up their nuclear capability when they've starved their people for decades to make it happen is ludicrous. That's like someone going through school for years and finally becoming an MD, then deciding they want to shovel pig shit for a living.

DougS Silver badge

And the fact his family got business favors from China

Had nothing to do with it? He's basically offering foreign policy for sale and personal profit. No doubt there will be a raft of new laws about financial disclosure and divesting businesses that will affect all future presidents as a result of his self dealing. In the meantime, we will just have to put up with the idiot, or hope Mueller gets enough on him that even republicans are forced to conclude he needs to go.

Korean cryptocoin exchange $30m lighter after hacking attack

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even currency doesn't have a value of its own

No, currency has intrinsic value because the government says it does. I know that sounds stupid, but bear with me - a dollar will always be worth something in the United States, even if every store decided they would only accept gold, bitcoin or wolverine teeth, because taxes are payable in dollars alone. That power to tax is what gives fiat currency its value.

If you choose to live your life doing all your transactions in wolverine teeth, you will still need to trade those for dollars at some point in order to pay your taxes.

Note that this doesn't imply any value for the dollar outside the US. All the people in third world countries who conduct gray or black market transactions in US dollars do so because of the value created by the US government taxing its citizens in dollars, and the fact its citizens travel and do business around the world. If everyone thought like Trump and the US became isolationist, the US dollar would become much less attractive for those outside the US even if it maintained its value for US citizens.

DougS Silver badge

Your mistake is calling it an "asset". It is no such thing. Just because there's a limited quantity of something doesn't mean its value goes up, or that it has value at all. Otherwise all the collectible plates and other crap that's sold on late TV "limited quantities, act fast!" would be selling for thousands of dollars on eBay. I'm sure fools made the same arguments you are making about rare tulip bulbs a couple centuries ago. Tell me why rare varieties of tulip bulbs, of which there are a very limited supply or in some cases only one in the world, should not even today be worth more than a bitcoin of which there are millions.

There are some suckers who current believe bitcoin has value, but it'll be a footnote in history once the hype cycle dies and bubble investors move on to the next big thing. It isn't even useful as a currency any more due to the ridiculous transaction fees - it is now only viable as such for criminals or tax evaders - the microtransaction argument people were making back in the day faded when they realized transaction fees were its Achilles heel. No one is buying cups of coffee with it anymore. Perhaps someday something that bears some resemblance to bitcoin will gain broad acceptance, but that will be because a government or some large corporation like Facebook provides backing.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Speculative bubble bursts, economy fine

Bitcoin has lost more than half its value since December, but lost far less over this hack. If there was a hack of one of the major bitcoin exchanges then you'd see its value fall by half (or more) overnight, this was a hack of a minor exchange involving a minor cryptocurrency.

Theoretically hackers could short bitcoin to make money when they hack an exchange but I really doubt it - chiefly because I'm not sure there IS a viable way to short bitcoins. In the financial world you short something by borrowing shares of stock, which you then sell and hope to buy back for a cheaper price tomorrow. Good luck trying to find someone willing to let you borrow and sell their bitcoins!

DougS Silver badge

No chance it will bring down real economies. Cryptocurrency is a rounding error on a rounding error vs the size of financial world.

Apple: No currency mining for you in our App Store thank you

DougS Silver badge

It wears them out, why would you want to add charge/discharge cycles unnecessarily?

DougS Silver badge

Someone also said not to buy bitcoin at $18,000. They were right.

So net neutrality has officially expired. Now what do we do?

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Re: You could always hope

There's no need to enforce restrictions on what web sites can be visited or TV channels can be watched, since republicans have managed to get their voters to restrict their choices voluntarily!

DougS Silver badge

Re: You could always hope

No chance of that, because people don't vote based on net neutrality. You think a Trump voter who voted for him because of guns or abortion or taxes is going to vote for the democrat in 2020 because Trump is against net neutrality? Get real.

Hmmm, we can already seize your stuff, so why can't we shoot down your drone, officials mull

DougS Silver badge

Pulling the pin before sending the drone off

You better be DAMN sure it is secure, otherwise if it slips out of whatever is holding it during launch you lose.

Hmmm, perhaps this is why they're talking about drones dropping grenades, they want the terrorists to blow themselves up!

DougS Silver badge

Re: I would have done a full rant, but why waste the effort.

Dropping a grenade sounds kind of impractical. You'd have to work out a mechanism for it to drop the grenade and pull the pin. Since the pin requires a bit of force to pull out (for obvious reasons) simply dropping it while leaving the pin tied to the drone won't do the job - that would just leave the grenade dangling.

Seems easier to carry an IED with an impact trigger, and when it reaches the target cut the power. That way if someone spots it before it reaches the target and shoots it down, it still detonates and hurts someone unless they get it early enough.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I call bollocks

Not for pot, but it would be fine for heroin or cocaine. Some models of drone can carry up to 20 kg. They need to move more than that, but they can use more than one drone. If they used a number of drones in different areas miles apart it makes it pretty much impossible for all of it to be interdicted. Maybe or two are stopped, but if you get 90% across and the risk is reduced that still sounds like a win to me.

British egg producers saddened by Google salad emoji update

DougS Silver badge

More inclusive?

Given the ever growing permutations on human emojis in terms of skin shade, hair color, hair type, freckles and what not, I'm surprised they didn't just add another salad to appease the vegans. Removing something doesn't make it more inclusive, it is less include for those who like eggs in their salad.

Personally I would find either inedible, as there's no dressing!

Microsoft will ‘lose developers for a generation’ if it stuffs up GitHub, says future CEO

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Gitlab's 10x claims

Without knowing what their normal traffic is, its possible they could easily see 10x more without making a noticeable dent in Github.

Anyway, some people might be doing it as a 'backup' so they can more easily transition later if they decide to jump ship. Only a truly dedicated Microsoft hater would leave just based on word of the acquisition. The rest will wait until Microsoft actually does something they don't like.

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