* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

How are the shares, Bry? Intel chief cops to CPU fix slowdowns

DougS Silver badge

Virtualization takes the biggest hit from Meltdown, which Intel conveniently leaves out as they try to downplay this. With all the push towards 'cloud' the last few years, that hit is FAR larger than the 5% Intel has been claiming for such loads.

Whether that translates into some cloud wins for AMD will be interesting. Usually those don't get much publicity because cloud providers like to keep what they are doing under wraps, but it may show up in AMD's financial results by the end of the year.

Sky customer dinged for livestreaming pay-per-view boxing to Facebook

DougS Silver badge

Re: I wonder....

Much easier to mark the broadcasts by requiring receivers to digitally watermark it with the account number or receiver ID (or maybe it would be easier to just flash the number up on the screen every few minutes)

AFAIK nothing like that is done for PPV broadcasts in the US, but given the millions of people who supposedly watched the Mayweather McGregor fight on illegal streams last year I'll bet they are talking to the big cable/satellite companies about doing some sort of watermarking. Wouldn't help shut down the streams during the event, but a few people sued for big bucks would make the news and make it less likely to happen going forward.

1980s sci-fi movies: The thrill of being not quite terrified on mum's floral sofa

DougS Silver badge

"Noting awful tropes that they would take care to avoid"

If they were actually doing that, every damn movie that has any sort of special effects wouldn't have that stupid scream in it.

US Senators force vote on Ctrl-Z'ing America's net neutrality death

DougS Silver badge

Re: It will be solved by California and NY

Doesn't matter if they are regulated solely by the Feds, the states can still choose what companies to award their contracts to and the federal government has no way of interfering. A company like AT&T or Verizon can't afford to shut itself out of lucrative state government markets like California or New York.

There's no way Pai could stop that. The only thing that could would be if Congress passed a law making net neutrality or lack of a "protected class" similar to discrimination on the basis of sex or race...good luck with that!

DougS Silver badge

Re: "The floor of the Senate"

Which is why, even though I'm not particularly a fan of Oprah and probably wouldn't be particularly a fan of her politics, I'd love to see her decide to run and beat Trump, just because the same moron breed of "oppressed white men" (i.e. the sort of people who refer to Obama as Obaka) who couldn't stomach a black man as president would really be driven over the edge by a black woman as president!

I wonder how they'd spell her name, if they'd start conspiracy theories about where she was born, or just go full tilt and make up crazy stories like she performed a secret back alley abortion on Gayle when they were kids.

DougS Silver badge

It will be solved by California and NY

They along with smaller blue states will pass laws saying no state contracts can be given to ISPs that don't abiding by net neutrality within their state. Pai has stated the FCC will try to block such state level laws but it is unclear how he could do that (especially since republicans claim to believe in 'states rights' which this would be completely against) and even if he did I can't see how it would pass muster in court since the FCC can't regulate against states doing this any more than the EPA can block states from adopting more strict pollution laws.

So one of two things will end up happening. One, ISPs who operate in those states will abide by net neutrality across the US because they deem it not worth operating differently in blue and red/purple states. Two, ISPs will operate one way in blue states that pass such a law and differently everywhere else, and if those differences end up being noticeable and negative for consumers net neutrality advocates will make sure they become well known and public pressure for net neutrality will force congress to act.

DougS Silver badge

Unfortunately congress is dysfunctional

They've abdicated their responsibility for dealing with a lot of things due to partisanship, so executive orders or rules/regulations issued by cabinet level bodies are the only way to get some things done. Or would you be OK if Trump's executive orders that weren't simply undoing Obama executive orders be nullified and require legislation to enact?

I think the executive branch exercises far too much authority and has done so since well before I was born. Laws passed by congress should be required to better spell out the limits of what the executive branch can and can't do. Unfortunately the courts have ruled over and over again that unless something is specifically covered in legislation, the executive branch has the power. Which is why Trump exercises more executive authority than Obama, who exercised more executive authority than Bush, and so forth, continually eroding the power of the legislative branch despite complaints from the out-of-power party about presidential "overreach".

Memo man Damore is back – with lawyers: Now Google sued for 'punishing' white men

DougS Silver badge

@Symon - Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Just saw in the news today he's planning to run for Senate to fill the seat Jeff Flake is vacating. So now there are two Trumpsters and one mainstream republican vying for the republican nomination.

I'm sure the democrats they get to run against Arpaio, it would be like Roy Moore all over again, but in a state much less red so it would be an easy victory unless they nominate a bigger crook than Sheriff Joe.

DougS Silver badge

Re: and not based on their individual merits?

Suing his previous employer is not going to help him find future employment, whether that employer is of a more liberal or conservative bent. One thing employers of all political persuasions can agree on is they don't want employees who will sue them - and there is no anti-discrimination law preventing employers from googling a potential employee and tossing his/her resume in the trash if they have previously sued their former employer and made the news even in the UK while doing so.

With WPA3, Wi-Fi will be secure this time, really, wireless bods promise

DougS Silver badge

Re: The new "Commercial National Security Algorithm"

The military would probably use it for unclassified networks, but I'll bet they don't support ANY wireless on classified networks. Why would you go to all the trouble of worrying about edge cases like TEMPEST and then deliberately broadcast your data? Even if you used your own algorithm you thought was secure that seems like quite the unnecessary risk, because you are hoping no one else figures out a weakness in the algorithm you didn't see.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Will this require new hardware?

I know it is fixing the initial key exchange since that's what KRACK attacks. But it is also doing other stuff - adding security to open wifi networks, making it easier to set up security on devices without a display (i.e. IoT) but the one that's potentially problematic to the idea of upgrading to WPA3 is the addition of a new 192 bit algorithm from the CSNA suite for higher security needs (i.e. government, military, etc.)

If that new 192 bit algorithm is the only thing that would slow down on older routers that would have to do it in hardware, I hope DD-WRT & OpenWRT provides updates to support WPA3 anyway. They'd just have to say that if you want to do the 192 bit stuff you really should get a newer router that supports WPA3 directly, but since the 192 bit thing is superfluous for the type of home/SME environments that use third party firmware that's fine.

DougS Silver badge

Will this require new hardware?

I'm sure vendors won't update their routers with it because they'll want the sale, but will e.g. DD-WRT and OpenWRT be able to deliver this via software, at least on newer AC class routers that have the SoC horsepower?

If so it could be deployed pretty quickly, as commercial APs with long term support like Cisco's would be updated, iOS and Android would be updated, so there would be a fair number of WPA3 devices by this time next year. If we have to wait for new chips, it will take years before it is the norm.

Boffins use inkjets to print explosives

DougS Silver badge

Burning 200K cooler is a 'sacrifice'?

Tell that to the people with burns on their face from when their airbag deployed. Granted that's better that not having a face behind it impacted the steering column at 75 mph, but airbags that don't burn you would be a nice improvement.

Who's that at Ring's door? Why, it's Skybell with a begging cup, er, patent rip-off lawsuit

DougS Silver badge

Re: A home Google product? I'll pass thanks.

Seems the only use case for doorbell cameras is to get video of people stealing packages off your front porch. Personally the only time I answer my door is if I'm expecting someone, and I can have a peek around the corner if I want to be sure it is them and not Mormons, or worse.

DougS Silver badge

Re: They have a case?

They might, because the patent system is broken. This is sort of like the dotcom era patents that were basically "X, but on the web" and more recently "X, but on a phone".

This is also why when you read patents they generally make specific claims for what they're doing, then try to list as many other use cases as they can think of which is one of the reasons the list of claims is often so wordy.

If Australian animals don't poison you or eat you, they'll BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE

DougS Silver badge

Pigeons on trains

How do you know the pigeon was deliberately choosing a particular stop, rather than wandering onto the train knowing that often there's food to be found on the floor, especially under seats? You'd have to observe a pigeon getting off at that stop more than once to conclude it wasn't just random when it got off.

Smartphones' security enhancements just make them more dangerous

DougS Silver badge



DougS Silver badge

Re: Any Biometric is the least secure model I can think of.....

Maybe they need to embed an fMRI scanner and have you think of the password. Since my brain presumably looks different thinking of 123456 than yours it might work :)

DougS Silver badge

DNA scans would be no better

You leave DNA all over the place. Someone just needs to grab the straw you've been drinking out of, your lipstick, your hairbrush (yeah it sounds like women would be easier targets here...) or whatever along with your phone. Just like someone could get accurate scans of your face to produce that 3D model, or snag your fingerprints off a glass or your phone itself, and so forth.

Maybe if they embed a THz scanner it could map the blood vessels in your brain, though you might need to swallow something for contrast first...

FCA 'gold-plates' EU rule, hits BYOD across entire UK finance sector

DougS Silver badge

Wouldn't this ban owning a personal phone entirely, rather than BYOD?

Whether my personal phone is considered BYOD by the company or it is my own phone they don't know about, what stops me from using it to make a call or send a text message to a customer that then can't be recorded?

Before you say "the company has a policy that you can't do that" well then the company could equally have a policy that you can only contact someone using company owned equipment or in ways that can be recorded. You'd be able to use a BYOD phone or personal phone to send/receive email via the company's corporate email because that can have records preserved. Even if you have a company owned phone, how exactly would it be recording all calls or saving all SMS messages? The calls would have to go through some sort of forwarding service that does the recording, and you'd either need some type of SMS proxy or just tell people "you can't use SMS for customer communication".

BYOD is not the problem here.

You GNOME it: Windows and Apple devs get a compelling reason to turn to Linux

DougS Silver badge

GNOME 3 is a compelling reason to avoid Linux

If I didn't have the option of Cinnamon (or various other non-horrible options that aren't GNOME 3) there's a 100% chance I'd be typing this on a Mac running OS X instead of a PC running Fedora Linux.

DougS Silver badge

@hititzombisi - single application with single button

And that application will be emacs, after it has been integrated into systemd.

Here come the lawyers! Intel slapped with three Meltdown bug lawsuits

DougS Silver badge

Re: We have only ourselves to blame

Only the first generation Itanium hardware included x86-32 hardware. Later versions used JIT to run x86 code in software.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Sorry, Itanium sucks

Actually ARM64 is a totally independent ISA, unlike x86-64, so you can drop 32 bit mode entirely if you want. Which Apple did in the A11.

Like I said, its not perfect, but it is so much better than x86-64 or IA64 its like comparing brownies made with chocolate with those made with dirt substituted for the chocolate. They're both edible, but one them you will only eat if you're really hungry.

DougS Silver badge

Sorry, Itanium sucks

It avoids these issues only because it is in-order, not because it is better designed. HP's engineers thought a smart compiler could make up the difference for an in-order processor, and sold Intel on the idea so they collaborated on what would have been PA-RISC 3.0 and it became the Itanium. Those engineers were wrong, which is why Itanium has never lived up to its performance processes.

Not defending the turd that is x86-64, but its biggest problem is a refusal to drop backwards compatibility with old shit that goes back 40 years. Drop support for anything but 64 bit mode in hardware, handle 32 bit apps via JIT, and it would be a lot better. If you want a clean 64 bit ISA you should be looking at ARM64. It is not perfect but better by far than either x86-64 or Itanium!

Spectre and Meltdown fixes: How will they affect storage?

DougS Silver badge

EMC would theoretically be affected

The VNX uses vulnerable Intel CPUs (recent Xeons) in its controllers. I'm not certain but I would guess VMax engines use them as well, along with proprietary ASICs.

However, since end users can't run code on EMC controllers/engines, I'm not sure why they'd need to a fix. Before someone says "what if someone finds an exploit that lets them run their own code on a VNX controller" THAT would be the real concern, not using an exploit to read kernel memory. Running your own code on the controller would mean you could read or write arbitrary data anywhere on the array!

Worrying about someone exploiting such to bug to run Meltdown or Spectre exploits would be like fixing an easily-picked lock inside the most secure room at Fort Knox. Sure, you don't want easy to pick locks, but if someone unauthorized person could get into that room that would be of far greater concern than what they do inside it!

Game of Thrones author's space horror Nightflyers hitting telly

DougS Silver badge

Re: Sounds interesting

Sharknado keeps getting the money because it keeps getting a big audience. Its not high art, its escapism to watch in a group and laugh at how ridiculous it is.

DougS Silver badge

Syfy's moves are what gives it the bad rep

The weekly Syfy produced movie like Sharknado are what do. And as far as Sharknado, at least it and none of the actors in it take it seriously, making it far better than most of their movies with plots like "a comet knocked the earth's core out of alignment which will cause all life to end in a week, but this group of four intrepid people who include the one person on earth who foresaw it have a plan to re-align it and save everyone".

Sharknado is camp, or at least an attempt at camp, while most of those movies are attempts at actual movies which is frightening. MST3K wouldn't have to look at the back catalog of 50s B movies to return, they could just do an episode every Sunday making fun of whatever Syfy showed the previous night.

The series Syfy develops usually aren't that bad. I only watch a handful of them of course, some fit my taste and some don't, and some are produced on a shoestring budget, but none of them are remotely as terrible as the average made-for-Syfy movie.

Net boffins brew poison for BGP hijacks

DougS Silver badge

Couldn't attackers use the same techniques?

Attacker advertises, white hat advertises &, attacker advertises,,,, and so on...

Qualcomm joins Intel, Apple, Arm, AMD in confirming its CPUs suffer hack bugs, too

DougS Silver badge

Re: The same bug.

No, that's a stupid assumption that is 100% wrong. It is because they all do out of order speculative execution. It requires extra effort to avoid the bug, and since no one had ever really thought about this hard enough before there was no reason to put in the extra effort to add bounds checks, consider kernel/user mode in tagging, etc.

US border cops told to stop copying people's files just for the hell of it

DougS Silver badge

Re: Would be ok with search and copy if ...

No it is going into that $2 billion data center in Utah.

Whizzes' lithium-iron-oxide battery 'octuples' capacity on the cheap

DougS Silver badge

Re: Where are they now

The problem is that asphalt shingles are cheap, and because most people don't make the choices on building materials for the house they live in - or if they do would rather spend extra money on a bigger house, bigger lot, specialized rooms like a home theater etc. instead of caring how long the roof will last. Architectural shingles are warrantied for 30 years, which is far longer than most people will live in their house. Why pay more for a roof that will last 100 years when you won't be around to see it need repair (other than storms, fire, etc.) either way?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Thermite?

No, unless you also assume table salt is poisonous and will burn if it gets wet.

DougS Silver badge

Re: 8 times longer battery times in mobile phones

Sure if you wanted a 90s style brick phone that weighs three pounds you could have a month of battery life. There's no market for phones with a week of battery life, otherwise you'd see such phones that weigh a pound and are 20mm thick.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Where are they now

Solar PV has already passed the inflection point where the cost of the panels is less than the cost of installation for residential sized installations in high cost labor markets like the US.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Let's give up trying

Is your glass half full of gasoline or diesel? Because you'll need a different tiny ICE in your phone depending which fuel you use. Then people would complain that Apple builds in the phone's engine instead of being swappable like some Androids...

DougS Silver badge

Re: Great News

Well we've been hearing talk about folding phones for several years now. Those certainly aren't very practical at the current thickness, so they need to make them thinner so when they are folded it isn't a brick in your pocket.

Plus a two way fold isn't terrible practical (who wants an essentially square screen when unfolded?) so you probably need to get thin enough for a trifold to be practical. I'd say they need to get to 3mm which when folded would be a 9mm device - weighing about 25% more than current phones but that should still be acceptable.

DougS Silver badge

Re: x8, x 4, x2

I don't see where 8x comes from, but 4x seems quite easy to explain if they're able to use 4x the lithium. Presumably there's something else that gets the remaining 2x - can't tell since the paper is paywalled.

Obviously that's theoretical and the real world has a nasty way of lowering theoretical limits, but a theoretical limit of 4x is at least quite believable.

DougS Silver badge

Phones that charge once a week

Yeah, not going to see that. They would probably make them thinner so that a folding phone becomes practical without being a half pound brick in your pocket.

I don't agree with Filippo that they'd use these batteries to make phones that draw more power - power draw is limited by the heat output already so we aren't going to get a bigger power budget than what we have today.

If you want a phone you charge once a week, get one of those 12000 mah battery cases...

IBM lobs sueball at travel site Expedia for using some old Prodigy patents

DougS Silver badge

Re: ... and keep updating them

Companies continuing to update patents in material ways are why they changed the law so now it is 20 years after initial filing. Previously they'd update patents for two reasons - one to make changes in older patents that would cover new stuff, to falsely get an earlier invention date (though courts would always toss those out, it was good for sueball threats) and two for so-called "submarine patents" where they could essentially secretly patent something by continuing to update the patent in minor ways so it was never published. The goal of submarine patents was that someone would end up using their patent unknowingly and they could sue the now successful company, who if they had known about the patent would have done things differently to avoid infringement.

Woo-yay, Meltdown CPU fixes are here. Now, Spectre flaws will haunt tech industry for years

DougS Silver badge

Re: Insider trading

Hey Martha Stewart did time, and she's richer than Krzanich could ever dream of being and her insider trading was a lot smaller and much less overt. So at least there's hope he gets more than a slap on the wrist.

DougS Silver badge

Insider trading

This looks really bad for him. Since he obviously knew about this issue several months before he filed to sell the shares, there are only two possibilities:

1) he deliberately sold before he knew the stock would fall, though I'm not sure how he thought he'd get away with it

2) he had some use for that money planned (building a big yacht or mansion or planning a large donation) but if that was the case he should have filed for the sale but held off selling until after the announcement just to remove all suspicion

I'd say odds are better than even he won't be Intel's CEO by this time next year.

UK drone collision study didn't show airliner window penetration

DougS Silver badge


Most of the time when a jet hits a bird nothing bad happens other than having to make an emergency landing and rebook passengers. Yet airports take measures to try to minimize the possibility of birdstrike despite the low risk to life and limb. They should do the same for drones, and not let people say "hey it can't penetrate the windshield so there's nothing to worry about!"

Better safe than sorry - and that still frame showing the impact looks pretty bad even if it doesn't manage to break through. People sometimes drop stuff off overpasses at cars traveling below, most of the time it something like a soda that won't break through the windshield. Doesn't prevent drivers from being momentarily scared and maybe doing something dumb. Do you want your pilot to be momentarily scared and do something dumb on final approach 30' above the ground?

Skynet it ain't: Deep learning will not evolve into true AI, says boffin

DougS Silver badge


It is nice to see the Reg finally writing a realistic article on "AI" and covering the points many of us try to make in the comments, instead of believing the hype from Google or the doom from Musk!

Samsung topples Intel as semiconductor top dog, but lead 'literally built on sand'

DougS Silver badge


They're a foundry, this list is comparing companies that sell their own chips - that's why Qualcomm and Broadcom are on the list even though they don't manufacture the chips they sell, and Western Digital is on the list when they sell SSDs using NAND chips they bought from someone else (which are probably double counted here...)

DougS Silver badge

Re: "All Samsung need to do now" @Pascal

What Samsung calls its 10nm process is, like TSMC's 10nm process, comparable to Intel's 14nm process. Samsung and TSMC's 7nm processes are comparable to Intel's 10nm process so when they start shipping 7nm stuff later this year then they will be ahead of Intel. Rumors have it that Intel is having terrible problems with their 10nm process which is why they keep adding another '+' to their 14nm and claiming that tweak is revolutionary...

As for designing their own x86-64, don't make me laugh. Given how poorly their Exynos cores compare to those in Apple's SoC which has more than double the single threaded performance, they couldn't hope to compete with either Intel or AMD - and x64-64 is a far more complicated ISA to design for than the relatively clean ARM64 ISA.

Jocks in shock as Irn-Bru set to slash sugar and girder content

DougS Silver badge

Sounds awful

Since alcohol is metabolized to sugar the last thing you should want for a hangover is a bunch of sugar.

Still, it seems like they could change the formula and still have Irn Bru classic or original or whatever for those who don't think it would be the same thing to just dump a couple teaspoons of sugar into the lighter version.

Wannabe W1 DOW-er faked car crash to track down reg plate's owner

DougS Silver badge

Wouldn't he want "W1DOWER" then?

Cool disk drive actuator pillar, Seagate – how about two of them?

DougS Silver badge

Re: What is Chris Evans babbling about there??

My issue is his claim "I’m not sure that this is right, because if you have (say) 8 heads reading/writing compared to 2 groups of 4, how is the throughput any higher with purely sequential?"

Clearly he doesn't even know how hard drives work, because you NEVER have more than one head reading or writing at once in current hard drives. Yes, there is one head for each surface (i.e. two per platter) but only one can read/write at once. There's no way to have more than one do it because the tracks are so narrow that it is impossible to line up more than one head at a time, due to uneven heat expansion. If you have two sets of heads that each operate over half the platters then you will have TWO heads reading or writing at once, which will double throughput and double IOPS (actually very slightly more than double IOPS because each mechanism has a bit less mass and thus should be able to seek a bit faster)

How does someone get the title "Storage Architect" when they don't understand the basics of how storage devices work? Someone sent him to enough EMC classes and he got a certificate, I guess.

Meltdown, Spectre: The password theft bugs at the heart of Intel CPUs

DougS Silver badge

Re: Can you clarify?

All out of order execution Intel processors means everything from Pentium Pro on, the only exceptions newer than that are Itanium and Intel Atoms older than 2013, both of which are in-order execution only.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019