* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Qualcomm, Microsoft drag apps for Win-10-on-Arm into 64-bit world

DougS Silver badge

Why didn't they require ARM64 from day one?

I just assumed they did...how stupid is it to start ARM support on Windows 10 in 2017 and not only support 32 bit AT ALL but make it the only option?

Obviously Microsoft had no intention of making this succeed.

Waymo robo-taxis to accept fares in Arizona in 2018

DougS Silver badge

I'm looking forward to it too, but IMHO it is way too soon to put it into public operation. One high profile accident operating at a taxi could set the whole industry back years as regulations get piled on (some will be needed, but some will be written by technologically clueless politicians to serve their own purposes)

I certainly wouldn't ever consider riding in one of these yet!

Meet TPU 3.0: Google teases world with latest math coprocessor for AI

DougS Silver badge

Re: serial liquid cooling

So long as both remain under the target temperature, what difference does it make?

Industry whispers: Qualcomm mulls Arm server processor exit

DougS Silver badge

Uptime is not a measure of CPU quality

I think I only remember a couple cases were systems crashed or needed to be taken down due to CPU problems. Pretty much every other hardware component is a more likely culprit for problems.

Of course hardware itself is rarely the issue, 98% of the time your uptime is reset to 0 because of patches. Speaking of which, I sure hope those Intel servers with 1000 days of uptime are on an isolated network, because they are obviously not at all current on patches no matter what OS they are running!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why should ARM Holdings help?

You think they could get away with charging £500 per chip in licensing costs? Pull the other one! Those prices are higher than an Intel CPU for 1S servers that are used in cloud environments!

You could charge that sort of licensing cost for 4S/8S I suppose, but ARM has no chance of ever breaking into that market.

DougS Silver badge

Why should ARM Holdings help?

The market for server CPUs will never be remotely as large as the market for CPUs for portable devices. If IoT grows to a size anything like analyst wet dreams, it will be orders of magnitude larger.

Before anyone suggests that they could charge much higher royalties for server CPUs than they do for e.g. smartphone CPUs, the whole premise driving ARM server CPUs is that they'd be a lot cheaper than x86 CPUs when you're talking about filling a cloud datacenter with hundreds or thousands of racks full. Maybe they could get away with a few bucks each, but start talking about tens of dollars and they are going to make ARM server proponents a lot more shy. At $5 each there would have to be 50 million sold to offset the design costs - and that money is wasted if instead there are only 5 million, when those engineers could have been designing mobile cores to beat back custom mobile cores from Samsung, HiSilicon, etc.

ARM Holdings is right to concentrate on mobile, and designing cores that go in even smaller and lower power IoT devices, and leave it to others to take the risk of designing server cores that currently don't have a market. If someone else creates that market, maybe they will think it is worth getting involved.

Windows Notepad fixed after 33 years: Now it finally handles Unix, Mac OS line endings

DougS Silver badge

Maybe they've decided to start working the Windows enhancement requests

Starting from oldest to newest. So if you filed an enhancement request for Windows 10 yesterday, they should be getting around to it right about the time millennials are reaching retirement age!

JEDI mind tricks: Brakes slammed on Pentagon's multibillion cloud deal

DougS Silver badge

Not just that

While they aren't likely to say it publicly, behind closed doors I'm sure they are saying "have you seen what Trump has been saying about Bezos and Amazon? Do you really want to go with them, only to have him break the deal when you are halfway through implementing it because the Washington Post prints something he doesn't like?"

Yes, people see straight through male displays of bling (they're only after a fling)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Funded by a car manufacturer by any chance?

Exactly. Why do you have to either spend your whole budget on the car, or on a cheaper car plus a bunch of silly upgrades? Where's the third option, for buying a cheaper car and banking the rest in case you need repairs or for vacations or whatever if you don't?

Anyway, I wouldn't buy a used car so old it doesn't have some warranty left, so you'd be able to figure out pretty quickly if you've landed a lemon without fixing it out of pocket. If you have a lemon, sell it, take the loss, and try again - that's why you spend less than the whole wad on the car!

Apple to devs: Give us notch support or … you don't wanna know

DougS Silver badge

Re: I find this funny

That's what happens when you get an installed base. At least the variations are kept somewhat under control, since they only maintain iOS compatibility about five years back some of the older combinations like 3.5" and non-retina no longer have to be supported. Until last November it was pretty simple, just three sizes and resolutions to support - 4" (5S/SE) 4.7" (6/6S/7/8) and 5.5" (plus variants)

The X added a fourth, which isn't so bad but they're getting two more this fall so they'll have six to support. Though I suppose that is not much worse than where things stood when the 6 and 6 plus were introduced, and they still supported the 3gs, 4/4S, and 5 giving them a total of five size/resolution combos. At some point developers will probably get a 7th, a smaller SE type form factor with a notch - and it'll be a long wait before they can start dropping the notchless ones.

Makes sense they'd require notch support for all apps pretty soon, given that fall 2018 will be an all-notch lineup.

Kremlin's war on Telegram sees 50 VPNs stopped at the border

DougS Silver badge

Re: Good advertisement for it

Assume Russia has a way to crack the crypto and then think of the most effective way to encourage people with secrets to use it.

Unless everything Pavel Durov has done for the past decade has been a sham orchestrated to make him look like he was against Russia's government when he was really in cahoots with it, that seems pretty unlikely.

If they were able to execute such a long term plan, then I'd say those of us who live in the US might want to start learning to speak Russian, as our moron-in-chief can't even plan the end of his sentence when he starts one so we have no chance!

Android P to improve users' network privacy

DougS Silver badge

Couldn't they just change permissions on /proc/net?

There isn't any legitimate reason for an app to access anything under it, that should all be mediated by Android APIs.

Google Pay heads for the desktop... and, we fear, an inevitable flop

DougS Silver badge

Re: "handheld wireless POS"

I never said such readers didn't exist, but it is going to cost them a lot of money because:

1) they will need to upgrade their POS software to support them

2) their POS vendor may require them to replace their POS hardware (terminals and back office server)

3) they will need more of them than they have terminals because often a lot of people check out at once (i.e. if the restaurant is located in a town with sports/concerts/etc. where a lot of people want to get something to eat before they to go the event)

The POS software run in the UK/EU is in general probably not from the same vendors as in the US, so just because you guys have had support for this stuff for years doesn't mean it isn't all new over here.

DougS Silver badge

It is a lot more complicated, and isn't about * Pay type services

I don't think companies like Visa, the banks that issue cards, or the processors have a problem with Apple Pay, the percentage they collect is so tiny it hardly matters. The merchants are the ones with the issue, but not so much with Apple Pay but with all the rules and expenses the shift to EMV has imposed on them.

It might not seem that bad for a small shop with a single checkout, just replace the little credit card machine, right? The problem is that typically the POS vendors won't support that with existing hardware/software so they need to upgrade their POS hardware and software to support the EMV reader, saddling them with thousands in additional cost where of course the EMV promoters were talking about how inexpensive it would be since only the readers would need to be replaced.

Think about restaurants, in the US the standard way you checkout is to give your card to the server, who goes to a POS terminal, swipes it in a reader that's built into it, prints a receipt, and brings it back for your signature (yeah, I know you right ponders are rolling your eyes at this scenario) That won't work when EMV is fully implemented and uses a PIN instead of signature, because the card owner will need to type in the PIN themselves.

So restaurants will need portable readers they can hand to the customer to do their thing, and if the customer wants a printed receipt either a portable printer or walking back to a POS terminal to print it. Then they need to add a secure wireless network (they can use WPA2 to insure it is secure....oh wait...) for the portable reader to talk to the POS system for the amount, and to the processor to handle the card. And of course they'll need update to all their POS hardware and software, including the back office 'server' that manages all the terminals, just because, because the POS vendor isn't going to pass up an opportunity to soak them.

The thing is, currently the only pressure being applied to retailers so far is a liability shift. Previously if someone used a stolen card or otherwise disputed a card, the bank took the hit. Now if a retailer processes a non EMV transaction with an EMV capable card (except for a few exceptions that are given longer to be compliant, like gas pumps) and its disputed, the retailer takes the hit, not the bank. So businesses that rarely see disputed charges have little pressure to upgrade, they can take their time and wait for the technology to mature. Businesses that see a lot of chargebacks haven't had the luxury of waiting, and unfortunately businesses in more crime/fraud prone areas were probably least able to afford it. It will be a few years (I don't think there's even a date yet) before the change is forced, by banks refusing to process non-EMV transactions at all.

This is why you see recently opened places that bought everything new, and some major chains (especially those which already had aging POS systems so they would have had to replace them anyway) able to support Apple Pay, but most of the smaller locally owned type places are still doing the swipe thing.

Huawei P20: Snappish snaps, but for £200 less than Pro, it’s Notch bad

DougS Silver badge

Re: Huawei's biggest threat? - @DougS

Barring Huawei from the world's largest market, and from being able to buy stuff from US based companies like Qualcomm, Intel, AMD, and Microsoft is probably a bigger threat to them than if the entire rest of the world refused to do business with them EXCEPT for the US.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Notch too much for me

The P20 non-Pro uses LCD, which can't display true blacks like OLED, so it probably won't hide the notch all that well - at least not in dimmer light.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Huawei's biggest threat?

The Justice Department?

Pentagon in uproar: 'China's lasers' make US pilots shake in Djibouti

DougS Silver badge

Re: Laser canon and sonic death rays.

The thing about lasers is that it is pretty easy to trace back to their source, so it seems unlikely they'd blame China for something some randos in the city were doing. Now obviously governments sometimes lie in situations like this and blame someone else unfairly, but if that was true they wouldn't need any lasers hitting their pilots at all to lodge such an accusation.

So I think it is pretty much 100% certain that if there are lasers hitting the pilots, China is to blame.

FTC Commissioner refuses to budge until Trump fulfills promises

DougS Silver badge

Re: She's a Republican

So I guess your definition of a "swamp republican" is anyone Trump doesn't like? Trump's definition of a good FTC commissioner is the same as for anyone else in government - they are good if they do his bidding, and they are in the "swamp" if they don't kiss his ass.

Meaning the FTC should deny the AT&T/TW merger because Trump doesn't like CNN because they won't lick his ass like Hannity, but the FCC should support reinstating the wildly outdated UHF discount solely to benefit Sinclair Broadcasting and their merger with Tribune because Sinclair is owned by conservatives.

Trump thinks the government exists to do his bidding, anytime he doesn't get his way he whines about the "swamp" or the "deep state", when it is in fact the system of checks and balances wisely put in by the founders to prevent megalomaniacal fools like Trump from declaring themselves King.

European Space Agency wants in on quantum comms satellites

DougS Silver badge

Making it the perfect encryption solution as far as organizations like the FBI are concerned. Governments and big business could own their own ground infrastructure and satellites to make unbreakable encryption possible, while us peons have to use old fashioned encryption (which may become vulnerable if quantum computing becomes a reality)

High-Optane thrills for 3D XPoint wanna-haves: Intel fattens gaming SSDs

DougS Silver badge

What's the use case for gamers?

That they need hundreds of thousands of random IOPS, or where the difference between <10us and 12-20us will matter?

Gamers don't need this anymore than a database needs a GPU.

Texas residents start naming adopted drains

DougS Silver badge

Well someone has to do it. Either they raise your taxes so the city can send someone round to check them all regularly, or they depend on the people living close to the drain who will be negatively affected if it backs up.

Giving them naming rights is presumably to confer a sense of 'ownership' making them more likely to actually do it, instead of ignoring it until the drain backs up and then calling the city in a panic because the street and half their front yard is flooded during a downpour.

New York looks at California, drafts net neutrality legislation

DougS Silver badge

Still not a violation of net neutrality. You could make a good argument it is monopoly abuse since they are the only broadband option for a chunk of their customers.

Not that anyone would notice the difference between 250 Mbps and 400/1000 Mbps. There isn't a use case for that much bandwidth for home use.

DougS Silver badge

They don't "require" the purchase of an unrelated service, they give you a perk for doing so - no different than "buy one X get one Y free" type promotions that have been going on in the world of physical goods forever. Or bundling of landline phone services like voicemail, call forwarding, caller ID etc. into one bundle that costs much less than buying each service individually.

Trying to extend net neutrality to such ridiculous proportions is exactly the worries being pushed by those who are against it - and I'd be forced to join their side if people were dumb enough to try to take it that far.

DougS Silver badge

Net neutrality does not apply to something like that, which is very similar to giving you a discount for bundling multiple services. If that was a violation of net neutrality then charging you more for a faster connection also would be.

Net neutrality is concerned with fairness/"neutrality" of bandwidth allocation for given services/sites, not the total amount of bandwidth for all services for a particular customer.

Last attempt to find MH370 starts this week

DougS Silver badge

Re: It WILL be found...

Before someone says "what about the Titanic, it survived for nearly a century" it had a hull (sadly, only one) inches thick, while airplanes have a paper thin skin. It also hit the water at hundreds of mph, rather than slowly sinking like the Titanic.

Before long the debris will be covered by the normal detritus of the ocean and it wouldn't be found even if James Cameron's submersible was 5' above the largest piece.

DougS Silver badge

Re: It WILL be found...

Richard III was located where there is a lot of human activity, MH370 is where there is no and never will be any human activity. We'd be far more likely to find it if it had crashed on one of Jupiter's moons - at least we are likely to go there in the future.

I've got way too much cash, thinks Jeff Bezos. Hmmm, pay more tax? Pay staff more? Nah, let's just go into space

DougS Silver badge

Re: What to do with surplus money?

What would be the point of El Reg having votes if everyone was supposed to post reasons for their vote?

DougS Silver badge

Re: What to do with surplus money?

For people who like publicity like Bezos or Musk, saying "I'm going to make sure everyone in the world has a toilet" probably isn't the publicity they're looking for.

NASA demos little nuclear power plant to help find little green men

DougS Silver badge

Re: Only 10kw?

There's also power needs on Mars you don't have at home, like UV lights to grow your food, pumps for water filtration, etc.

HP Ink to compensate punters for bricking third-party ink cartridges

DougS Silver badge

HP has fixed their ink situation

Their "Instant Ink" thing really works well if you want an inkjet - unless you are paying less than 4 cents per page in printing costs you will save money with it. Much better than screwing around with refills, third party cartridges, etc.

Not sure how such a good idea actually made it out of HP, surely someone screwed up and will be fired!

Grab your lamp, you've pulled: Brits punt life-saving gravity-powered light

DougS Silver badge

Great, so things that people are naturally afraid of won't kill you, and things people aren't naturally afraid of will. Everything really is upside down down under!

DougS Silver badge

Must be from Australia, everything can kill you in Australia.

Cambridge Analytica dismantled for good? Nope: It just changed its name to Emerdata

DougS Silver badge

Re: Here comes the new boss.

Sort of like when Blackwater become Xe Academi, lose the name with the tainted rep but the same people will run it and the same shady stuff like continue to be done.

I'm sure CA's Facebook user lists will be used at the new company, but it will be kept very hush-hush / need to know so only a handful of high level employees will know and they won't go bragging about it to customers. Instead they'll serve up some spiel about "proprietary AI algorithms that produce results at least as good as what CA did with the Facebook user lists <wink wink>"

No way they'll delete it, that data is too valuable. Besides that data has probably been sold to / traded to / stolen by other firms doing similar work by now, they will see it as a competitive necessity to keep using it.

Ahem! Uber, Lyft etc: California Supremes just shook your gig economy with contractor ruling

DougS Silver badge

Re: I don't see how this affects Uber/Lyft

They have to be logged in to the app as "working" to be able to accept or reject calls. The company setting the rate is only one of the three ABC tests, they still have complete control over when they work.

The fact they are able to accept or reject calls is a level of autonomy hardly any employees have. If you work at McDonalds and your boss tells you to clean the fryer or empty the trash, you can't refuse to do it - at least not if you want to keep your job.

I'd argue the ability to reject work you don't want to do is further evidence they are not employees. That Uber has a rating system that hurts those who are overly picky is not surprising, since they need some way to encourage drivers to be willing to pick up ALL customers not sit around waiting for the ones they can infer are more likely to be generous like pickups on Wall Street or Rodeo Drive.

DougS Silver badge

I don't see how this affects Uber/Lyft

Assuming that all three factors in the "ABC" test must be satisfied, the fact that drivers have 100% control over when they choose to work would seem to have them remain contractors.

Escape from the Zuckerborg: WhatsApp founder legs it

DougS Silver badge

Re: Google should have bought WhatsApp when they had the chance

iMessage ain't going away:


Since there was already an iOS version of WhatsApp, all Google would have needed to do is maintain it and between the in-built advantage of being the default messaging app on the most popular smartphone platform (though it would have taken a few years to build up critical mass due to Android's update problem) and being able to reach all Android & iOS users, it could have become the dominant platform.

I wonder how much of the iPhone's continual market share growth among teens is due to iMessage? I mean they can obviously participate in iMessage group chats as an Android user since it also supports SMS, but since teens tend want/use more functionality out of their messaging than SMS provides they do lose something being in a group iMessage chat as SMS.

DougS Silver badge

Google should have bought WhatsApp when they had the chance

They could have had a viable Android messaging platform to match iMessage. Just add SMS fallback to the app and done.

Instead after many failed attempts they've waved the white flag and are partnering with the telcos on what is basically SMS 2.0, which integrates the features of popular messaging platforms except encryption! Unfortunately that will become the new default Android messaging app, likely drawing users off more secure alternatives.

What could Facebook possibly do next to reassure privacy fears? Yup – make a dating app

DougS Silver badge

Its the next logical step

Now that they've collected so much information about people that they can predict their votes, there won't be any chance of accidentally matching a Trump voter and Hillary voter!

Open Internet lovin' Comcast: Buy our TV service – or no faster broadband for you!

DougS Silver badge


If you are paying for 50 Mbps service but "getting nowhere near that speed" you won't see faster speeds if you paid more for service with a bigger Mbps number.

Supercycle to su-'meh'-cycle: Apple iPhone warehouses heave with unsold Notches

DougS Silver badge

Re: It's not all gloom and doom in Fruitville

Which makes one wonder why Google fiddles around with hardware sales at all - they aren't making friends for themselves amongst hardware manufacturers, and they'll need friends in a few years when they want Android OEMs to become Fuschia OEMs instead of some of them banding together and becoming AOSP + their own stuff / carrier stuff OEMs.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Qualcomm revenues down?

Hope you didn't put too much money behind that guess. As of this writing Apple is up nearly $7.50 in after hours trading - because they had $61 billion in revenue and not the $49 billion you expected.

Let's be Frank: Bloke drags Google to the US Supreme Court over $8.5m privacy payout

DougS Silver badge

Re: Economically Feasible?

Should they also make Page & Brin write the 4 cent checks by hand like Steve Martin did in The Jerk? I'll bet Google would never run afoul of any regulations ever again if they did!

Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

DougS Silver badge

Why is speed important for transferring backup tapes?

And why not transfer them from NYC to Ohio or Toronto? I find it hard to believe a business was worried about continuity following a disaster able to take out the entire North American continent.

North will remain North for now, say geo-magnetic boffins

DougS Silver badge

Just a coincidence

In order to suggest even entertaining the idea this is more than coincidence you'd have to explain what about this particular point in the Milankovitch cycle would cause a magnetic excursion, or point not just to one 41K years ago, but also ones 82K, 123K, 164K and so on...

Democrats need just one more senator (and then a miracle) to reverse US net neutrality death

DougS Silver badge


Yes it is grandstanding, because it obviously has no chance of passing the House and even if it did wouldn't be signed by Trump.

This is no different from the grandstanding the republicans did when they passed measures to repeal Obamacare approximately 47 quintillion times over the past half decade knowing that Obama would never sign it.

Obviously congress on both sides continues to believe that everything in the country is perfect, so they have plenty of time to waste on non-productive grandstanding farces.

if dev == woman then dont_be(asshole): Stack Overflow tries again to be more friendly to non-male non-pasty coders

DougS Silver badge

Re: "Mansplaining"

Mansplaining != simply explaining something or answering a question. It is more along the lines of if someone asked a question about rebuilding a Hemi engine and received a response that begun by explaining how to use a ratchet wrench.

Supreme Court to dig into Google's very cosy $8.5m deal with lawyers over web search leak

DougS Silver badge


In cases where the payout per person is too small, maybe it should be treated as a lottery. Members of the class who signed up would be eligible for a drawing that pays some larger amount, like $1000. That would encourage signups, and avoid having most of the settlement go towards wasted costs like postage (how much would it cost to print/send a 4 cent check in the mail, or even a $1 check?)

Though I find it ridiculous that something that affected 129 million people is only worth 4 cents per person. How do you determine that the average person suffered only 4 cents worth of harm? They believe there's harm, but the harm is literally so small that it is less than buying the cheapest thing you can find and losing it?

Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie, oi oi oi! Tech zillionaire Ray's backdoor crypto for the Feds is Clipper chip v2

DougS Silver badge

"Access to online data"

They already have that, with a search warrant Apple will give them whatever they have for them on iCloud. Wouldn't work with me, since I don't control the encryption key for iCloud I don't use it. I back my phone up using iTunes, where I do control the encryption key. The FBI can't get my iMessage logs (well other than that where the recipient uses iCloud...) but they can get other stuff like call logs from my carrier, and they probably log URLs I visit etc.

Pretty much iMessage and details like contact lists or calendar entries are the only things on the phone that the FBI can't get via other methods - but I'm sure it is iMessage they are primarily concerned with. Good luck getting Apple to change it so it all goes through a server that can be tapped rather than encrypted directly from point to point!

‘I broke The Pentagon’s secure messaging system – and won an award for it!’

DougS Silver badge

Couldn't get away with that today

With CCTV cameras in every datacenter, access logging, etc. it would be quick to identify the culprit - best to admit your role, try to place some of the blame on the changed layout that led to your confusion, and go from there.

If someone working under me screws up, and owns up to it immediately (or as soon as they know it was their fault) without anyone having to track them down, I'll just ask them what they learned, if there are any changes to procedures that would prevent it or similar mistakes in the future, etc. These days there will be a root cause analysis required for anything major so they'll get the fun of writing it and sitting in to defend it with the execs - that horror is enough to persuade most people to learn from the experience!

If someone knows they are responsible but won't own up until they get caught they'll get a second chance but only one. Never had it happen (that I know of, I suppose) but if someone I was responsible for actively tried to cover it up (changing logs or whatever) there's no excuse they're done that minute marched out by security.

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