* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

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.

You Wreck Me, Spotify: Tom Petty, Neil Young publisher launches $1.6bn copyright sueball

DougS Silver badge

Re: I'm not so sure about that

The majority probably are 10-20 hours a month but the average will still be an hour a day because there is a sizeable minority who listen to music pretty much every waking hour.

DougS Silver badge

I'm not so sure about that

Their revenue last year was $3 billion, so that would mean they paid out about $2 billion. That's with 140 million active users, 50 million of whom are paying. I have no idea how much the average customer listens to, but even an hour a day would mean something like five or six thousand songs a year. So the per song rate is pretty tiny.

I read a while back that the main objection the industry has with streamers who offer ad-supported "free" listening is they pay a much lower rate for songs played for those subscribers, because it uses the same licensing scheme as broadcast radio. The problem is that the low rates for radio broadcasts came about because the industry felt airplay translated into sales. That's no longer true with streaming, especially streaming where people have some choice over what is played, because people no longer need to own music. The industry wants the same rate for both paid and free subscribers, but the streamers who offer free listening are very resistant to it because they know it will increase their costs and reduce their revenue.

We translated Intel's crap attempt to spin its way out of CPU security bug PR nightmare

DougS Silver badge

Two different exploits

There are mixed signals because there are two different exploits. One affects Intel and not AMD, allows reading arbitrary kernel memory, is not difficult to exploit, and the fix has a performance hit which is larger the more often your CPU enters/leaves kernel mode (i.e. syscalls, driver interrupts, context switches, etc.) This is the one that hit the media in the last couple days.

The second one affects both Intel and AMD, allows a process to read its own memory and while it is very difficult to exploit the prospective fixes have almost no performance impact. Normally you wouldn't care if a process can read its own memory, except in cases where it is trying to run a sandbox - like a browser running Javascript. Rogue Javascript code on a web site could access the browser's memory, though with modern browsers using multiple processes that's less of a concern than it would have been a few years ago. Given how many browser exploits there are that can do much worse, this isn't bad for home users.

The problem with the second exploit is they aren't sure if it can actually be completely fixed, so it may be something we just have to live with. If so we can always hope this it will be the death knell for Javascript like Steve Jobs was the death knell for Flash!

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

DougS Silver badge

Some patents that old are still valid because they would file them and keep updating them so the patent office could never officially grant them. Patents that were in such 'pending' status after a certain date in 1995 have a life of 17 years from date of issue or 20 years from date of filing. However, both those old patents are listed as being expired. Now patents have a life of 20 years from the date of first filing.

Presumably IBM is suing over violations on those which happened years ago. The other patents are current and they could sue over both old and current violations of them.

Nvidia: Using cheap GeForce, Titan GPUs in servers? Haha, nope!

DougS Silver badge

Water heater anodes

I actually had the anode replaced on a brand new small electric water heater I had installed as a booster heater in the kitchen for the dishwasher, because it came with an aluminum anode and I wanted magnesium. The problem with aluminum anodes is that when they degrade they expand, so you can't always get them out and even if you do they'll have left a lot of crap in the bottom of the tank (that's what most of the sediment found in a typical tank is unless you have well water)

When I had that replacement magnesium anode installed I had the plumber add some PTFE tape to the threads so it'll be easy to remove to check/replace. I plan to have the same done for the bigger water heater, except there are two anodes to replace - one of which I'll probably allow to erode in place because it would be a hassle replacing the smaller secondary one installed in the cold inlet.

DougS Silver badge

How can they stop you?

It isn't like the GPU can detect whether it is being used in a datacenter. This is no different than a warranty on a product intended for residential use that declares it is shortened or void when used in a commercial environment. Didn't stop me from using consumer model TVs in a commercial environment, because have you seen what they charge for commercial TVs - and how they're always a few years behind the state of the art?

I'm going to buy a residential water heater for my business even though it means the warranty on the tank is shortened from 6 years to 3 years, because 1) if you make sure you replace the anode before it erodes away the tank will last a very long time and 2) the otherwise identical model for commercial use costs $500 more and has the exact same 3 year tank warranty so AFAICT there's no advantage to buying the commercial model.

All NVidia can do is refuse to support you if you have issues with cards they know you're using in a datacenter environment. Good luck trying to serve a cease and desist if they somehow found out how they were being used.

Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

DougS Silver badge

The CPU isn't soldered in

See the teardown: https://www.macrumors.com/2017/12/28/owc-imac-pro-teardown-2017/

So not that difficult to replace, though they might want to replace the whole module that includes the CPU, GPU and common heatsink to make things simpler in the field.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Refunds and Compensation

Apple would be able to force Intel to provide replacement CPUs to them to deliver into purchases over the last x days/months, thanks to their implied threat to switch to AMD or their own SoC. Maybe even pay the costs of the recall.

Intel will just ignore the PC OEMs, because they can't make changes overnight to switch and will forget about it by the time it could happen when Intel throws some marketing dollars their way.

DougS Silver badge

Apple has Intel at their beck and call via the implied threat to switch to AMD or their own SoC, they might be able to get Intel to supply replacement CPUs if the ones in the just-released iMac suffer from the bug. Issuing a recall and replacing the CPU for free would be good PR after the black eye from the iPhone battery business, and wouldn't cost a whole lot because they couldn't have sold that many of the new iMacs yet.

Now that's sticker shock: Sticky labels make image-recog AI go bananas for toasters

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Re: Still no laughing matter

Yes but think of the fun we'll have sharing exploits to fool AI in hilarious ways!

Missed opportunity bingo: IBM's wasted years and the $92bn cash splurge

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Look who was proposing that theory

An analyst whose firm specializes in M&A analysis - and charges BIG bucks to consult for businesses for their help in that field. OF COURSE they're going to point to cases where a merger or acquisition would have been the right call.

Had IBM spiked over the past five years and Apple took a tumble, they'd be writing this exact same research note about how Apple should have done some big M&As and looking in hindsight at companies they could have bought and claim the tens of billions they poured into stock buybacks was misused.

Yes, your old iPhone is slowing down: iOS hits brakes on CPUs as batteries wear out

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@tiggity

Bullshit that Apple tries to put people off 3rd party repairs. They will void the warranty, but Apple will replace your battery for free under warranty if it fails so that's not really relevant. Once you are out of warranty you can do it however you wish.

Look at ifixit.com's repairability ratings for iPhones over the years. The first few models had very low repairability ratings, but they improved them over time to being pretty good on their 0-10 scale (7s) though the iPhone X takes a dip to 6 probably due to the glass back. Compare with Samsung Galaxy S and Notes which got worse over the years and have been below iPhones for the past half decade.

Now true they do use weird screws, but most battery replacement kits you buy on eBay or whatever come with the required screwdrivers so in practice it doesn't really matter. I don't own a Phillips or Torx screwdriver small enough to take the screws out of an iPhone, and I suspect that's true for most people, so using a more 'common' screw wouldn't have made it any easier.

DougS Silver badge

Re: No, this was a stupid idea, or half of an idea at best

If Apple was the only company making phones without easily replaceable batteries you might have a point. But pretty much no "flagship" phones in the Android world have replaceable batteries these days (I think someone posted about an LG model that does)

Recent model iPhones actually have easier to replace batteries than some others like recent Samsung models according to ifixit.com's repairability scores.

But like I said above, not telling people "hey looks like your battery is going bad" and giving you a choice of whether you'd like it slowed down for stability or risk random shutdowns was stupid, and they are getting a well-deserved black eye in the press for it now.

DougS Silver badge

No, this was a stupid idea, or half of an idea at best

Having the capability to reduce the power demand and avoid the phone shutting off by running the CPU slower makes perfect sense. Just like Apple goes into a power saving mode when you reach 20% battery left where the CPU runs at half speed. But it ASKS you, it doesn't just do it without telling you.

The fail here wasn't that it slows down to avoid the phone shutting off when the battery is getting old - that part makes sense as it is better than simply shutting off without warning - the fail was that it doesn't TELL you what it is happening and why. If it did you'd know to get the battery replaced. I have a feeling after all that publicity the last few days that's exactly what it'll do before long.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Battery shape?

The shape doesn't really matter, the problem is the chemistry of the cells can only accept so many charge/discharge cycles before losing capacity, because the cathode slowly becomes contaminated. Apple rates their batteries to retain 80% of their charge after 500 charge/discharge cycles which is about as good as it gets for the formulation used in phones - many batteries are worse than that. The problem is 500 cycles is only about a year and a half if you are a fairly heavy user and need to charge your phone nightly.

That was fast... unlike old iPhones: Apple sued for slowing down mobes

DougS Silver badge

Re: Planned obsolescence

They added this in iOS 10.2, so the 5c probably is affected. Even if it isn't, it would still be affected by short battery life and eventually random shutdowns when the battery gets worn down enough. For what little it costs in terms of time and money to replace the battery yourself, it would be worth it to give another couple years of life to a 5c.

Even if you don't need something as old as a 5c as a phone any longer it will work great as an iPod, or as a toy for a child to play games on that you don't have to be worried about getting dropped one too many times and the screen breaking.

DougS Silver badge

Only a fool would throw it in a bin

You can still sell a 5S for about $100, and it would be refurbished with a new battery for a lot less than the $79 Apple charges. Or you could replace the battery yourself - I've done it for a couple friend's phones over the years, it is pretty simple. Perhaps not something an average person could handle, but something the average Reg reader could easily handle.

DougS Silver badge

It depends on the number of charge/discharge cycles, plus presumably some manufacturing variation on the batteries they source.

Someone who is a heavy phone user who runs it near empty every day is going to age the phone a lot faster than a more moderate user. I usually charge my phone every other day so the battery in my 25 1/2 month old 6S plus I traded in last month was in the same shape as a heavy user's battery would be after only one year.

As for a "sliding scale" it sounds like they knock down the speed the weaker the battery gets, so it isn't a matter of this model gets X% slowdown and this gets Y%. If you read Poole's article there are multiple peaks shown for the same model, which represent greater and greater amounts of battery wear.

IT giant CSC screwed its 1,000 sysadmins out of their overtime – jury

DougS Silver badge

Re: Let's play the classification game!

You forgot step 3)

Your job is gone - we're moving it to India so we can make them work 60 hours a week without worrying about overtime!

We have standards, says 3GPP as group starts to lay groundwork for 5G

DougS Silver badge

Re: Almost infrared

They'll be able to go quite a bit further than 50 meters, but they're highly directional and need line of sight. That's great for rural areas, you just need high speed data running down the highway and you can set up little directional antennas that link to a directional antenna on the side of houses.

It doesn't necessarily have to be fed with fiber either. For one thing, just because it is capable of 10 Gbps or whatever doesn't mean you actually need to provide that much - because no one needs that much. There are other technologies besides fiber being invested - google "air gig" for just one example that AT&T is working on which would be perfect to feed little 5G antennas in rural areas with electric on poles (Air Gig uses the wires as a waveguide so it doesn't actually need to connect to them, they just need to be present)

The actual 5G frequency used, whether it is 52 GHz or something else, is really irrelevant to the question - because it is directional they can re-use the same frequency over and over and over and over and over again so it isn't like current cellular where spectrum is a scarce resource.

China may stick to its own DRAM memory soon – researchers

DougS Silver badge

Too much is being made of IP concerns

They are simply looking to sell DRAM and NAND for consumption within China. It won't be going into stuff made for export like iPhones and Dells, it will be going into products that are made in China, and sold in China to Chinese.

Micron, Samsung, etc. can whine all they want but the Chinese won't do anything to protect their IP for products sold within China. In a decade when they've done their own research and built up their own IP portfolio they'll be able to sell everywhere and the big guns will be forced to cross license with them. Of course, at the rate Chinese wages keep increasing, by then they might be the high cost supplier and be unable to compete...

This is how Samsung got to where they are - tech was basically stolen from Japan, they sold inside of South Korea for a while and eventually become a major player in their own right.

Social network smacks back: Accusers say it helps recruiters target age-groups in job ads

DougS Silver badge

Re: "targeting for employment purposes is an accepted industry practice"

What would be the legitimate purpose of saying putting a job ad limited on Facebook for 25-40 year old year olds with a PhD, for example? There aren't many 24 year old PhDs, but there are a lot of 41 year old and older PhDs, but Facebook doesn't prevent you from posting such an ad. The reasons a company might want to hire younger people are obvious.

Does it become OK if they also advertise in a newspaper, claiming that mostly older people get newspapers so that's how they're hitting the 40+ market? Even if they spend $10,000 with Facebook for statewide recruitment, versus a single classified ad in the state's largest paper for $100?

Though I gotta say - you can advertise jobs on Facebook? I had no idea...I've never seen a want ad on Facebook. Am I just lucky?

Facebook folds fake news flag: We're not disputing that

DougS Silver badge

Re: For all the times I ever saw such items on Facebook (obviously quite often)...

I don't remember ever seeing the flag, but it was probably there now and then and I just didn't notice it. Unless you are looking for it, who is going to notice a tiny little red flag on article amongst all the other crap in Facebook's UI?

Republican tax bill ready to rescue hard-up tech giants, struggling rich

DougS Silver badge

@bombastic bob

Calling Trump's tax cuts "supply side" is laughable. Reagan really did reform the tax system, and cut rates significantly while closing loopholes which made things more equitable all around. Trump's tax cuts are concentrated almost totally on corporations, when there is zero evidence that giving corporations more money will cause them to hire more people or give raises - just look at the crickets when Gary Cohn was addressing a roomful of CEOs a month ago and he asked for them to raise their hands if they they were going to use the windfall to hire more people or increase investment and only a few did causing him to ask "where's the rest?"

A couple companies offered well-timed "we're giving workers $1000 bonuses thanks to the tax cut", one of them being AT&T. Then the next day (today) AT&T announced they were laying off 700 installation techs. Because that's the thing, companies only pay workers enough to hire/keep them, they aren't going to pay them more just because they can afford it. They only hire enough workers to do the work they need done, they aren't going to hire extra workers just because they can afford it. The tax cuts will go toward stock buybacks to raise their stock price, so that the executives who are compensated based on the stock price either directly or indirectly can get richer.

Even Laffer conceded that his curve on a napkin claiming tax cuts will increase economic growth enough to pay for themselves was written in the late 70s when the top tax rate was 70%, and wouldn't hold at significantly lower rates.

DougS Silver badge

@strum

Claiming the explosion in the deficit at the start of Obama's term was due to the crash of 2008 that happened during Bush's watch goes in one ear and out the other of hyperpartisans like Big John. He'll tell you the crash was the democrats fault for mortgage policies started under Clinton in the early 90s even though Bush had been president for 8 years and could have reversed them if they were so dangerous. He'll also tell you 9/11 was Clinton's fault, even though Bush was in office when it happened. But had another 9/11 type event happened in 2009 it would have been 100% Obama's fault and not Bush's!

He'll give Trump full credit for this year's growth in the stock market - and probably for last year's growth too (he'd probably tell you because the market expected/hoped Trump would win) but if the market crashes next year it will be Obama's or the democrats fault somehow.

Basically anything good = republicans get the credit, anything bad = democrats get the blame. That's seriously how guys like that think - but what's worse they really, truly and honestly BELIEVE it!

DougS Silver badge

Re: I don't get it

Yes, tons of debt was added during Obama's administration. All the more reason to actually CARE about it now, and not decide that we should add another $1.5T to it on the hope that economic growth will magically pay for it (which it provably didn't for Bush's tax cuts)

The CBO already estimates based on Trump's budget wanting big defense spending increases that the deficit will top $1T per year in FY 2021, and continue to grow beyond that. If he's in office eight years (which thankfully looks extremely unlikely) he would easily beat Obama's record for adding to the debt.

Also don't forget, if the economic growth being wishfully projected by republicans comes to pass, interest rates will have to rise, and fast. Then the interest expense on our outstanding debt starts rising FAST so strong economic growth could actually be worse for us than the tepid growth we've had the past seven years.

Trump knows a thing or two about interest rate increases causing problems for outstanding debt, it caused multiple bankruptcies in his businesses in the 90s where he was saved only by huge loans and guarantees from his father - that part is a matter of public record. There are also rumors his entire empire came very close to going under in the aftermath of 2008 - and that perhaps that's the reason he 1) won't release his tax returns and 2) he was rescued by dirty Russian money which is what enables Putin pull Trump's puppet strings.

Firefox 57's been quietly delaying tracking scripts

DougS Silver badge

Re: 5 people who still care about Firefox

Lately Google fanboys like to post AC for some reason.

DougS Silver badge

So if it knows what the tracking stuff is

Why doesn't it give us a way to "delay" it to infinity if we wish?

Google Chrome ad-blocking to begin in February – but what is it going to block?

DougS Silver badge

Re: @msknight ... Thanks...

They probably already have offered such a service in preparation for it, so they can seem like good guys to consumers ("hey we're blocking the BAD ads but we know you want to see ads about things you are interested in!") while using it as leverage to make advertisers pay them premium rates for ads that Chrome won't block.

Of course we won't hear about this for a few years, because it will be protected by major NDAs in their contracts because the whole thing falls apart once people know the truth.

Seagate's lightbulb moment: Make read-write heads operate independently

DougS Silver badge

Re: I bet the guy who built the very last buggy whip...

Hard drives have at least a decade longer to run, because SSDs are a long way from beating them on $/TB. They no longer make sense anywhere you care about performance, but there is a lot of bulk/cold data storage, or backup to disk, where paying extra for SSDs makes no sense.

If you had 10 or 20 TB of 4K video of your kids you recorded in the next couple years, would you really pay thousands of dollars for SSDs to store them on when you know you'll never look at most of the files ever again, and those you do will be rarely accessed and not benefit from shaving 10 ms off seek time and getting 600 MB/sec instead of 100 MB/sec? Besides, SSDs won't hold their data for years sitting on a shelf unpowered, but hard drives will.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Miniaturisation?

Why should there be any diminishing return in IOPS as you increase the number of heads? Due to the smaller size of the actuator meaning it can move slightly faster, you actually give slightly more than n * IOPS for n heads. Throughput increases exactly with n.

This depends on the drive having enough I/O requests coming in to keep it busy, but that shouldn't be a problem for cloud providers where this is targeted at. It would make much less difference for consumer drives in a PC (which it will never be offered to) because their drives at idle almost all the time.

The other advantage is that RAID rebuilds take place more quickly - n times faster based on n heads (exactly n since it is a sequential process)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Silly suggestion

Why should the OS need to know anything? It should just stripe them together as you say, so that big files can be read/written simultaneously from both halves, and small files can be accessed independently on each. It just needs a way to know that both LUNs are really part of the same physical drive so it can stop people trying to mirror them, kind of like how an OS needs to know that two threads are part of the same physical CPU core for scheduling reasons.

It is no different than how you get the best performance from two separate drives - you stripe them together. Except in that case you increase the chance of failure since they are two separate drives whereas in this case it is all one drive so you don't even take the reliability hit.

Now that I think about it, it might just stripe them together internally and present it as one big drive, at least as a default, since that's the only reasonable thing you can do with it anyway. The only reason you'd want them separate is so you can fiddle with the stripe size if you know something about the access patterns and typical I/O sizes.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Old tech solved this decades ago

This isn't designed for desktop PCs, and may not even work for them - I suspect the tolerance for vibration would be way less for these drives so they might have specific mounting requirements. You probably won't want to slap them in a case with metal screws on a metal bracket and absolutely wouldn't want to stick one in a laptop.

I don't think the OS needs to know anything about this, it would be presented to the OS as two LUNs in a single drive as if it is a small RAID array. There isn't really any need for OS support, since there's zero overlap on the drive between the two arms. If there are any specific restrictions from interference between the two arms moving at once, or one moving while another is writing etc. it would have to be handled in the drive's controller anyway. The OS won't need to know anything special to get optimal performance from these drives. All it will need to know is that both LUNs are really on the same physical drive, so it won't let you do something stupid like trying to mirror them together.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Miniaturisation?

This technology will NEVER come to consumer hard drives, because consumers are no longer the target market for leading edge hard drive development. Consumers are being sold old technology hard drives which will never get the latest technology because the market is too cheap, small and continually shrinking so it cannot justify R&D expenses.

It wouldn't benefit consumer hard drives anyway, because consumers don't generate enough overlapping I/O 99.99% of the time for this to help. Those few who do generate overlapping I/O should buy an SSD.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Silly suggestion

They wouldn't split it as two drives, they'd present it as two logical volumes on the same drive. Software already has support for that - it would look like a RAID controller with two volumes.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Old tech solved this decades ago

You can't have more than one head per arm active in the drive (not just on a platter, in the entire drive) because the tracks are far too close together. Thermal variation means that you can only line up properly with one track on one platter/surface at a time.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I cant be the only one..

If they were full height they'd weigh more, cost more, and wouldn't get the advantage of half height actuators - better seek times to take the doubled IOPS and more than double it.

This strategy could only work for drives expected to be busy, as you'd see for a cloud provider or other markets where you have a lot of data but don't need SSD-level instantaneous access times. If the drive is often maxing out its I/O capability this improvement will double the MB/s throughput and more than double the IOPS.

Theoretically they could split them again for another doubling of throughput and more than doubling of IOPS, though there would be diminishing returns at some point from all the separate motors meaning increased cost and reduced MTBF.

DougS Silver badge

Re: about the only possible use that I can think of

Doubling bandwidth and IOPS isn't good enough, you think the only use is cancelling torque moments? Each mechanism would weigh only slightly more than half the weight of the full (current) mechanism, so even when they both swing the same way the torque is barely greater than it is now.

What I wonder is whether the movement of the second set of heads will cause vibration that throws off the first set when it is actively reading and writing. It may require more vibration damping than current drives, but that's fine since this is not targeted at moving devices like laptops, and they can easily mandate specific mounting requirements that would be infeasible for consumer targeted PC drives.

DougS Silver badge

No, separate arms for read and write would be far inferior to what they've done. This allows them to double read and write bandwidth (assuming you have enough I/O that each 'half' of the drive is fully utilized) and more than double IOPS. Yes, more than double, because you not only have two sets of heads, each accessing half the drive, but since each mechanism has half the heads it weighs less which means seek times are slightly faster.

DougS Silver badge

Re: about the only possible use that I can think of

They can't read/write on multiple heads at once because the tracks are so close together that thermal variation means that all heads don't align with the same tracks every time. They'd have to reduce density by a fairly significant margin to do what you suggest.

Dump ur mobile provider via txt by 2019: LMFAO cu l8r

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple and Google could build this in

Nothing technical stopping this, but I suspect the service providers might have a few alternative ideas on the subject.

And they are the one reason we haven't had software SIMs for years now. They have continually blocked Apple's attempts to get them approved.

As for the above objection about being able to remove your SIM and place it in another phone if it dies, that's easily handled by carriers providing a way for you to login to their site and download copies of your SIM certificates. Or Apple and Google could allow them to be stored in the cloud so a new phone could easily download them for you - even if you had a dozen of them. A hardware SIM only does you good if you still have physical possession of your undamaged SIM. If your phone is lost, stolen, dropped in a lake or run over by a truck, you don't while a software SIM is still fine.

UK, US govt and pals on WannaCry culprit: It woz the Norks wot done it

DougS Silver badge

What kind of "proof" would you find acceptable?

Its a little more obvious when Zeroes bomb your harbor who is responsible than when you're hacked. You pretty much had to take your government's word for it that the IRA was responsible for a given bombing in the past, or that Al Qaeda or ISIS is responsible for one today. Even if they claim responsibility (how hard is it to "plant" a claim of responsibility in ISIS' name, after all?)

I have no idea if the Norks were responsible or not (though ransomware seems like it would fit their MO, given their need for funds that can bypass all the banking sanctions) but even if they released every bit of intelligence that makes them believe the Norks are responsible you could still say "what if it was the Russians | Chinese | Iranians | Americans | Israelis | French | IRA | Welsh | 400 lb hacker sitting on Trump's bed that was actually responsible and they just faked the evidence to make it look like the Norks?"

Ey-up, mardy Rochdale council has dropped plans for ban on swearing. Thank f$ck!

DougS Silver badge
Holmes

You fell for it

Based on their canned response to that guy (presumably you Brits know who he is, because I sure don't) who said he was going there, I think this was a media exercise all along.

Councilor 1: How do we get more people to visit our fucking town?

Councilor 2: We need to advertise ourselves and the huge goddamn investment we've made in our town centre.

Councilor 1: That costs too fucking much, our bloody citizens won't let us raise their taxes to advertise the town!

Councilor 3: What we need is free publicity, what can we do that will get us on the fucking news?

Councilor 2: I know, we should make up a crazy law that everyone will think is bollocks!

Councilor 3: But won't that just make people think we're cunts and stay away?

Councilor 1: Not if we later drop the plans and get even more free fucking media!

Councilor 2: But what the fuck kind of shitty law can we pass that will guarantee we get that fucking attention?

Councilor 4, also the local vicar: I have an idea...

Peak smartphone? iPhone X flunks 'supercycle' hopes

DougS Silver badge

Re: This is not the supercycle you're looking for

The "market" in this case is the stock market, which is expecting better if not record results from Apple this quarter. Dunno why so many analysts thought this year would be the supercycle when the X was introduced late and supply constrained and without an option for people who wanted a plus sized model.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I always said this wasn't going to be the "supercycle" year

Well obviously smartphones couldn't continue growing in sales forever - the only driver for continued growth is if they can make them a little bit cheaper to dislodge another chunk of the feature phone market but it isn't clear that would even show up in the Digitimes numbers about OEM sales - those $35 smartphones are white label carrier branded.

The reason the iPhone X was priced high was the sensors. They not make enough of them (higher price helps balance demand) because the manufacturing yield for them was terrible, which means each working one cost a lot more.

Assuming those issues are worked out by next fall, next year they will be able to introduce the X like models at lower price points. Rumors have a 6.2" LCD, 5.8" OLED and 6.5" OLED. The LCD one would be the base, probably starting at the traditional $649 price. The smaller OLED and larger OLED would each be one band up, so either $749/$849 or $799/$949 depending on whether they choose $100 or $150 steps. I think the X goes away, and the 8 & 8 plus are the only "last year's phone" holdovers so it will be withdrawn as you suggest but that will happen regardless of how well it does.

Google asks browser rival Vivaldi to post uninstall instructions

DougS Silver badge

Re: Do as we say, not as we do

Two thumbs down? I guess there are still Google fanboys bravely defending their honor with downvotes!

UK reaches peak Bitcoin as bin firm accepts cryptocurrency

DougS Silver badge

Re: Just another bubble

You're dreaming. You're probably one of those loons who have been predicting the US is on the verge of hyperinflation since 1971.

Mozilla's creepy Mr Robot stunt in Firefox flops in touching tribute to TV show's 2nd season

DougS Silver badge

Re: Just when they were getting positive press from Quantum

People who read the Reg are not the target market for Firefox, Chrome, IE or Safari. The average person has either no add ons, or only an ad blocker and maybe one other a friend recommended they installed and promptly forgot about. They have no concerns over "lots of must have addons" so requiring they still be currently maintained is not a problem.

I upgraded even though I lost a couple add ons which I didn't really care about. The only "must have" as far as I'm concerned is uBlock origin. The rest is fluff.

Revealed: How Libratus bot felted poker pros – and now it has cyber-security in its sights

DougS Silver badge

I think it is safe to say that 1.35 petaflops will not be available to normal consumers in 5-10 years. Probably NEVER will, or at least not in either of our lifetimes. Moore's Law can't continue past fundamental physical limits, and will probably stall out for economic or technological reasons before that.

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