* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Pyro-brainiacs set new record with waste-heat-into-electricity study

DougS Silver badge

Re: Waste heat below 100oC...?

A few percent of something that draws 20W like a wireless router isn't worth it, but for something significantly more expensive, drawing more power, and requiring active cooling it might be. Like perhaps the CPUs in a server, drawing 130W or more. If they could recover 4W from each chip they could use that to power the fans. If the whole thing draws 30W less then you save on HVAC too so it would save 50 watts per 8 way server.

If you are nearing your density limits of watts per rack or the cooling limit of your datacenter, saving several hundred watts per rack might be worth it even if it costs $100 per chip / $1000 per server.

How 'parasitic' Google's 'We're journalists!' court defence was stamped into oblivion

DougS Silver badge

Maybe Wikipedia is high because people click on it?

If I did a search for aardvark and see a few links like Nat Geo along with Wikipedia, I'll probably choose Wikipedia. It is likely to have whatever information about aardvarks I'm looking for, and if it doesn't will probably provide enough information to help me refine my search to "aardvark mating habits" or whatever.

If I was looking for info about Trump Russian collusion I'd not want Wikipedia because 1) it likely isn't well updated on fast moving current events, and 2) it is a highly partisan subject so even if there was info about it it would be the victim of partisans on both sides editing it until it was locked down and become no longer current or no longer accurate depending on the politics of those who were allowed to edit it.

And surprise surprise, Wikipedia is the first choice for aardvark but not on the first page for Trump Russian collusion.

Super Cali health inspectors: Tesla blood awoke us

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why California?

Tesla uses a LOT of robots in their plant, for which cost of living doesn't matter. I could see companies like Apple moving a lot of manufacturing back to the US as it becomes more automated, to score political points (not just with Trump, this was something on the radar before him and will be after he's gone) though obviously it won't have the effect that people stuck in the 70s/80s like Trump expect since the jobs created will be high tech jobs not blue collar manufacturing.

OK, this time it's for real: The last available IPv4 address block has gone

DougS Silver badge

@AC - starting to see malware attacks in IPv6

And this is why the average person shouldn't want to switch to IPv6, even if his ISP, his router and his computer/devices all support IPv6 perfectly. With IPv4 pretty much every consumer uses NAT, and is mostly safe from direct attacks from the internet.

Sure IPv6 can use firewalls, but will consumers have that by default with all typical combinations of IPv6 supporting ISPs, routers, etc.? I wouldn't count on it - if my parents were urged by their ISP to switch to IPv6 I'd tell them not to. I know they are safe with IPv4 thanks to NAT, with IPv6 I'd have to check out the hardware, how it is set up, etc.

Even then I have to hope that they don't buy some internet connected light bulb that provides instructions telling you how to disable your router's firewall.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I've been trying to get this happening

Won't happen, don't stress over it. When the first site that's gotta be visible for some application is available on IPv6 only, then you'll get what you need to go IPv6 :)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Time to claw some back

If they were going to, they would have needed to begin the effort a decade ago. You can't ask big organizations to re-IP hundreds of thousands of devices overnight. By the time old school /8's like Apple's, MIT's, HP's pair etc. become available everyone who needs more IPv4 addresses will have moved to IPv6.

How's your Wednesday? Things going well? OK, your iPhone, iPad can be pwned via Wi-Fi sync

DougS Silver badge

So you have to hack a computer first?

Specifically a computer that has been USB synced with an iPhone, and then have that iPhone set to sync over wifi, then maybe have to do extra steps to impersonate its wifi network, and then you can access the phone?

Sounds like xkcd's $5 hammer would be more effective and something I'd be more worried about, personally (even if I had wifi sync enabled)

Hello DARKNESS, my old friend. I've come to talk with you again... about a 10,000-pixel alien-hunting camera

DougS Silver badge


The Pentagon is going to hire whoever came up with that tomorrow, they have a never ending appetite for friendly sounding backronyms for various ways of killing people.

Scissors cut paper. Paper wraps rock. Lab-made enzyme eats plastic

DougS Silver badge

Re: Doomwatch... The Plastic Eaters...

Now we just need to manufacture several supertankers worth of the enzyme and "spill" it in the great pacific garbage patch...

Size does matter, chaps: Oversized todgers an evolutionary handicap

DougS Silver badge

@Dr Dan

Just because homo sapiens have bigger penises than our evolutionary ancestors doesn't mean it is a survival trait. It might have been, but could have stopped being so somewhere along the way during the 10 million or so years since we branched off the last common ancestor with modern day primates.

Before homo sapiens began wearing clothing, each man's penis size would have been known by everyone else in the group, so it would be possible for females to select upon - if indeed they had much say. It seems more likely to me that bringing home the bacon (or mastadon) or fending off the saber toothed tiger is what really made the cavewomen swoon.

Huawei CEO sings 'Bye, bye, mister American Pai', trims US C-suite

DougS Silver badge

Poor ZTE

They'll only have their home country of 1.3 billion people to sell their products to, plus a few billion in the rest of the world that doesn't care much about whether they sold stuff to Iran and North Korea.

You're a govt official. You accidentally slap personal info on the web. Quick, blame a kid!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Unisys screwed up

For morons at expert bureaucratic level, yes typing URLs in instead of clicking IS "non-standard". As for wget and curl, if you showed them the shell script with loop to grab all 7000 files they'd think to themselves "we have an open and shut case of hacking here, that's obviously something only a seasoned pro hacker could manage!"

One of IBM's latest financial figures was off by four cents today – so down go its shares

DougS Silver badge

Re: "Worker transformation"

Transforming onshore to offshore.

Signal app guru Moxie: Facebook is like Exxon. Everyone needs it, everyone despises it

DougS Silver badge

Re: This indispensable tool ...

We used to be able to keep in touch with each other before the telephone was invented, too.

Huawei promises to launch a 5G smartmobe in second half of 2019

DougS Silver badge


That's at least a couple hundred Mbps if they really want quality worthy of 16K. Sure, you'll be able to do that with 5G, but it still smells of a solution looking for a problem. WHY are people going to want cellular connected VR goggles when wifi connected VR goggles will serve 99% of the cases when people might want VR goggles at all?

At least I sure hope people don't start wearing goggles while walking down the street, though if Uber's self driving cars are about they can solve two problems at once!

Pentagon sticks to its guns: Yep, we're going with a single cloud services provider

DougS Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Watch where the contract goes

Bet it doesn't go to someone you'd think of as a cloud provider like Amazon. It either goes to a traditional defense company like Raytheon (any of whom can easily afford to build a cloud of whatever size is needed from what they'll end up charging) or to some company no one has ever heard of which will essentially resell someone else's cloud at a huge markup.

After it is too late for the DoD to change course 60 Minutes will expose that some seedy figure like Eric Prince is behind it, using connections to the White House or Pentagon to get a shady deal that ends up benefiting those involved in the selection process to the tune of billions. Anyone who has been paying attention to all the ethical lapses in Trump's cabinet knows that the swamp was not only not drained, but is deeper than ever and filled with larger scarier creatures than before.

France building encrypted messaging app for politicians

DougS Silver badge

You laugh

But there may well be one built in for their equivalent of the CIA/GCHQ, because I'd really be surprised if those at the top trust all the lesser politicians and their staff to have surveillance proof communications.

Facebook admits it does track non-users, for their own good

DougS Silver badge

Subscribe and save

Amazon always wants me to "subscribe and save" when I buy stuff. Wonder if they do it for toilet seats, in case you want a fresh one every month!

Wow, braking news: Overworked, tired ride-sharing drivers declared a public health risk

DougS Silver badge

Re: Self drive crash

The problem is "what you saw of the video" was modified by Uber, shifting the gamma way off the mark so the scene looked as dark as possible. This wasn't in the outback on a moonless night, it was in a major city with streetlights. She would have been far easier to see than the doctored video makes it appear.

DougS Silver badge

Why it should be ok for a Lyft driver to spend an additional two hours behind the wheel

Uber drivers wear themselves out more quickly sexually assaulting passengers?

Google to add extra Gmail security … by building a walled garden

DougS Silver badge

Re: Just when you thought Google had hit evil(MAX)

The evil part in my mind is sending people a gmail link when email is forwarded. So if someone forwards me an email Google can track when and how many times I read it...why the hell should they be allowed to do that when I don't even use gmail - I go out of my way to use their services as little as possible, in fact.

DougS Silver badge

Just when you thought Google had hit evil(MAX)

They found a way to go to 11.

'Uncarrier' T-Mobile US to un-carry $40m for bumpkin blower bunkum

DougS Silver badge

$40 million fine isn't enough to change behavior

It might be for some little MVNO, but not for one of the big 4 carriers in the US.

Instead of fines, they should hit companies where it hurts by removing their access to tax credits, spectrum auctions or something like that.

UK spy agency warns Brit telcos to flee from ZTE gear

DougS Silver badge

Re: U.S. bans American companies from selling to Chinese phone maker ZTE

It isn't just Iran but also North Korea that ZTE is apparently dealing with.

Some of the sanctions against Iran were lifted with the nuclear deal, but not all of them. Presumably this would be one of the ones not lifted, but I'm not sure. Regardless, Trump is looking for any excuse he can come up with to claim the Iran nuclear deal a failure, so enforcing sanctions that were supposed to be lifted would be exactly the sort of thing he'd do to help said failure (especially given that he's trying to start a trade war with China and fining ZTE $1.2 billion helps the trade war along is only a bonus in his eyes)

Congressional group asks FBI boss Wray to explain Apple lawsuit

DougS Silver badge

Can't unlock 7800 devices

I don't know why anyone would think that is surprising. Just because a vendor claims they can "unlock any iPhone for $1500" doesn't make it true. It might be that this only applies to ones using a 4 digit passcode instead of a password, or certain iOS versions, or requires they have iCloud enabled. They aren't exactly going to advertise their limitations and give people a roadmap for avoiding their "services".

Plus there are innumerable hardware/software combinations in the Android world, including some that are supposedly designed to be secure like Blackphone.

Having ended America's broadband woes, the FCC now looks to space

DougS Silver badge

Re: This is targeted at rogue broadband mini satellites

Just ignoring the US only lets you off the hook from the FCC. You don't really believe that no other countries (or group of countries like the EU) doesn't have similar regulations, do you?

Allowing space to be a free for all would be a disaster. All it takes is a few collisions that put debris everywhere and space would rapidly become unusable for everyone since there would be no way to track all the bits the size of a BB flitting around at thousands of miles per hour.

This what a half ounce of plastic does to solid aluminum at 15,000 mph...


DougS Silver badge

This is targeted at rogue broadband mini satellites

Like the test ones recently launched without FCC approval.

Those will require FCC approval unless the company doing the launch doesn't have any nexus in the US, and they won't communicate with any US earth stations (or US consumer/business receivers) Someone wanting to go to all the expense to set up a worldwide constellation of broadband satellites isn't going to want to totally lock themselves out of the US market.

Donkey Wrong: Arcade legend Billy Mitchell booted from record books amid MAME row

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hard

I was pretty good, way back when I scored 211K on my first man, then lost all but one on the sixth (I think?) elevators. Got a little further and ended up with 233K I believe. Not a million but I suppose enough to claim the $200 or so I must have put into it was not a complete waste :)

Total WIPOut: IT chief finds his own job advertised

DougS Silver badge

Jealous of King Battistelli?

Are all multinational/international bodies run by power mad dictators, or is it just the EPO and WIPO? Poor governance to let one person accumulate so much power they can silence dissent so easily (sort of the same problem currently at the US EPA, but that's due to the nutjob currently inhabiting the White House)

Google's not-Linux OS documentation cracks box open at last

DougS Silver badge

"Web runtime"?

Why does this make me think it is some sort of Javascript 2020, designed to make it 'easy' to snarf people's data...

Testing, one-one-one-one. Yep, you're ready for net news nuggets

DougS Silver badge may have problems too

Back in the 90s I was at a place that had 255 as the second octet in their class B address. The Solaris installer refused to accept that as a legal address, though it was possible to edit the config files after install and manually set it. There were a few other problems others ran into as well.

Maybe that's all been cleaned up by now since we've been forced to use every nook and cranny of IP space. But I'll bet just like was special cased, 1.0.x.x may be problematic in a few fringe cases as well.

Civil war erupts at top of FCC over Sinclair's creepy grasp on US telly

DougS Silver badge

The UHF discount is the real shady part of this

The UHF discount originated over half a century ago as a way to encouraging stations to use UHF frequencies, which didn't travel well for analog broadcasts. With the switch to digital UHF is actually superior to VHF in most cases - that's why most stations moved from VHF to UHF when they went digital.

Bringing the UHF discount back and counting UHF stations as less than a full station for ownership purposes is a scam to allow Sinclair to control more stations, plain and simple.

Jury to Apple: You owe patent troll VirnetX half a BEEELLION buckaroos

DougS Silver badge

Re: And yet Apple has a patent on rounded corners

Design patents are different than utility patents, which is what this suit is concerned with. And the rounded corners in question were on the icons, not the phone itself.

Not that it still wasn't stupid, but the two situations aren't quite comparable other than that the fight over both has gone on for the better part of a decade and still isn't final.

DougS Silver badge

Even if costs were awarded to VirnetX

For their invalidated patents, Apple would have to run up quite a legal bill to offset the half billion dollar award on the patents that were upheld.

No password? No worries! Two new standards aim to make logins an API experience

DougS Silver badge

Public/private key sounds great

But unless it is time limited, any security hole in your browser that allows that key to be stolen would allow miscreants access to every web site you are using this for!

DougS Silver badge


Isn't this what Facebook tried to do with their support for using Facebook ID to log in at random sites all over the web? Of course you have to enable the app platform, which allows for the data grabbing ala Cambridge Analytica. Probably the reason they pushed the logins, in fact, to get more people to enable the platform - and make it harder for them to leave even with all the negative publicity about it recently!

All the king's horses and all the king's men could probably put Huawei's P20 Pro together again

DougS Silver badge

Huawei must be getting somewhere

There are plenty of Apple trolls and Samsung trolls, but now Huawei has their first troll. Welcome to the club, Huawei, give us your size and we'll have the club jacket ready for your next visit.

They're back! 'Feds only' encryption backdoors prepped in US by Dems

DougS Silver badge

Re: Dems

I was just responding to the idiot who is blaming the democrats exclusively.

And sorry to disappoint you, but if you think I'm a democrat because I'm not a republican, you couldn't be more wrong.

DougS Silver badge

Its an election year

Time for politicians to posture by supporting stuff they believe the majority of voters want (and unfortunately the majority of voters in both parties are sheep who would gladly give up their freedom in exchange for a little imagined security)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Dems

Yes, keep believing it is only the democrats who want to do this plan. It was republicans who started the warrantless wiretapping, democrats who continued/expanded it, and if you think Trump shut it down you're an idiot.

White House: Is it OK to hijack, shoot down, or snoop on drones? Er ... asking for a friend

DougS Silver badge

Re: Terrorist drones

Its a lot easier to get caught if you have to show up in person. It is probably easier for terrorists to recruit members if they don't have to commit to suicide or a high risk of immediate arrest and lifelong imprisonment.

DougS Silver badge

Terrorist drones

If this crazy scheme of having drones drop packages off at houses happens then terrorists just need to build drones that look like the common delivery drones that carry a load of explosives in an Amazon box wired to go off when opened. Leave the drone/box in some hidden area in the middle of the night, then operate it the next day via cellular from two states away...how you gonna track down the culprit?

We can try to 'harden' targets like airports and stadiums but there's no way you can harden apartment buildings and single family homes. The loss of life might be less, but if they randomly targeted addresses anywhere in the US they'd get the "terror" part down as the people who currently feel safe because they live in a small town and never travel anywhere would be vulnerable (granted still a greater than million to one shot they'd be targeted but when it comes to terrorism most people do a terrible job of evaluating risk compared to stuff to like dying in a car crash or slipping in their bathtub)

Apple store besieged by protesters in Paris 'die-in' over tax avoidance

DougS Silver badge

Re: Isn't this a consequence of being in the EU?

Transfer pricing is at least somewhat clear with a company like Apple that makes (most of) its money the old fashioned way, by selling tangible goods. Companies like Google or Microsoft make almost all of their money selling intangible goods - and not even to consumers. Microsoft is selling 'software licenses' to PC OEMs who sell PCs to consumers, and Google is selling ad space targeted at its users to advertisers.

If a French resident/citizen buys €1000 in ads from Google to show to people in Paris, that's €1000 in revenue that can pretty definitely be claimed as earned in France. But what are the expenses? If Google doesn't have a datacenter in France and the ad team resides in Switzerland, should France argue that they have zero expenses in France and claim the entire €1000 as taxable profit in France? Google would argue they should allocate a share of their overall ad delivery cost.

It gets even more complicated if say I as a US resident/citizen buy ads from Google to run in Paris, or the French resident/citizen buys €1000 in ads from Google to run in the US. Or if Google has servers in France and maybe they are used to serve ads to more than France, or maybe they have an ad team in France that works with other EU countries.

Compared to that confusion, figuring out what taxes Apple should pay is simple.

DougS Silver badge

Isn't this a consequence of being in the EU?

Even if Apple's deal with Ireland is held to be illegal by the EU, Apple ends up paying 13 billion euros to Ireland, not to France.

If France doesn't like it, it sounds they need to take it up with the EU. So long as there are countries with lower tax rates than France's, companies will move their profits around to take advantage of those lower rates in accordance with EU law.

Sysadmin shut down the wrong server, and with it all European operations

DougS Silver badge

Re: The big red power down button

I've heard so many stories like these I can't believe anyone would ever leave a naked big red button. I've only ever seen them under a cover personally, guess whoever designed the datacenters I've been in had already learned this lesson.

DougS Silver badge

Simple fix on Unix

I was consulting on an SAP project a while back and there was a configuration master (one of many development) server which had root ssh trust to all the other SAP machines (yeah not recommended from a security standpoint these days but like I said it was a while back and the client's lead sysadmin set it up)

One day one of their guys isn't paying attention to exactly where his shell is executes a reboot command on the production server. Thankfully it wasn't in production yet but there was a lot of qualification work going on so it stopped a full team of D&T guys in their tracks who were probably billing $5000/hr collectively, plus at least 50 of the client's employees.

I created a root alias (easily distributed to all two dozen servers thanks to the ssh trust) that aliased 'reboot' as 'echo "must use reboot`hostname`"'. Then an alias for reboot`hostname`. So if you want to reboot the server fred you had to type rebootfred. No more worries about someone rebooting the wrong server.

Facebook offers to crack open data for eggheads to find out how badly it's screwed democracy

DougS Silver badge

In order to maximize the chance of getting the best results

The researchers will have full access to everyone's Facebook prorfile.

Huawei P20 Pro: Triple-lens shooter promises the Earth ...

DougS Silver badge

Notch on/off

The provided pictures don't really do a good job of showing when the notch is enabled, since it is showing the exact same thing - in both cases the top area is being used for status like battery etc. On the iPhone X a "notch aware" app can use that part of the display for itself (i.e. no status bar) and I assume that the newer version of Android that is supposed to be "notch aware" will allow the same.

If all the iPhone X could do is use the top area for status, then of course you'd want it black all the time! To get a proper comparison of notch on/off on the P20 it will have to be running that latest version of Android that fully supports the notch.

There's security – then there's barbed wire-laced pains in the arse

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fit for purpose

Its a joint effort, security shouldn't dictate to the users, but neither should the users dictate to security - if they do you'll have no security.

Hookup classifieds ad sheet Backpage.com seized in Feds shutdown

DougS Silver badge

Re: I'm surprised the founder is living in the US

They remove words like 'lolita' and 'rape' but post the ad after "cleaning it up". They know EXACTLY what they're doing. Given all the negative publicity I can't imagine anyone uses backpage.com for anything legitimate at this point, so it is probably damn near 100% illegal content.

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