* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

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

DougS Silver badge

Re: '90s Called...

Failure rate shouldn't be an issue. The previous attempts at this technology replicated the entire set of read-write heads, so you had 2x as many things to go wrong. This simply divides the full set into two, one half can access half the drive, the other half can access the other half of the drive. The same number of read/write heads in total, two actuator mechanisms instead of one but each are smaller - meaning a bonus in terms of faster seek times.

Basically if you had a 16TB drive with this technology it would perform like two slightly faster 8 TB drives.

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

DougS Silver badge

Re: Erm...

It could also be killed by wiping out all the settings, or by dropping it on the floor and breaking the screen. Don't leave your phone unattended or especially unattended and unlocked in places where you don't trust people around you not to be assholes.

DougS Silver badge

Apple and Google could build this in

Create a little "change your provider" app, or make it part of settings. One step closer to getting rid of the SIM entirely - if the "change your provider" process could automatically download and install a software SIM certificate from the new provider what need is there for a physical SIM.

There would be nothing stopping the phone from holding an unlimited number of certificates, so you could easily switch between them if you traveled a lot and wanted to get the best rate in each location.

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

DougS Silver badge

OK so 1.35 PFLOPS is a lot

But how much does it really need while playing? That is, if you train it on the super expensive supercomputer, could it run on say a high end PC and/or GPU and still play well?

They could fund their development costs (and supercomputer expenses) by turning it loose in online poker games and winning millions.

Fridge killed my baby? Mag-field radiation from household stuff 'boosts miscarriage risk'

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Business opportunity

For a line of maternity clothing made with metallic mesh surrounding the bump.

DougS Silver badge

If the Amish didn't have such abysmal dental health - most of them have dentures by the time they're in their 30s - they might live even longer.

Alleged Uber black ops lawyer would rather not have his Xmas holiday ruined by Waymo, ta

DougS Silver badge

Especially since the power outage at the Atlanta airport has really messed up airline schedules all over the country for the rest of the week.

Plus I'm sure he has to think up some new lies in light of the Jacobs letter. Being a corporate lawyer is bad enough, but being a corporate lawyer for Uber is like being Satan's right hand man. I'll be surprised if he doesn't burst into flames when exposed to the Florida sun!

Twitter's not dreaming of a white supremacist Xmas: Accounts nuked

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@Tom Paine - Daily Mail & Express

You're talking about opinion pieces. Unless I'm mistaken about how they're run these days, they'll still report news that's positive about liberals ("Obama saves cute puppies from burning building") or negative about conservatives ("Trump impeached") because that's news.

That wouldn't stop them from also running opinion pieces as well about how the puppies Obama saved may have had rabies and could bite an innocent child, or why Trump should not have been impeached.

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

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Just when they were getting positive press from Quantum

Way to step on your dicks, idiots. What would it take to fire Mozilla's entire board and leadership, and replace them with people who have a brain?

After that, everyone at any level who signed off on this decision should be fired.

DougS Silver badge

Re: The profound hypocrisy of the left?

I think "Trump derangement syndrome" is mischaracterized. It is clearly a disease of the alt-right, as it is always ninnies who post something claiming "Trump derangement syndrome" on articles/topics that aren't even remotely political. Of course this is GlazedDonut's first post on the Reg (he joined today) so he created an account here for the express purpose of trying to turn a discussion about browsers into something political.

I saw the same thing a couple days ago when a Facebook friend posted something lamenting that she's become addicted to $7 Starbucks coffees. Some dickwad pipes up with a screed about how doing business with Starbucks is promoting liberalism and mentioned Trump derangement syndrome in there somewhere. Not sure which was the bigger non sequitur...

UK reaches peak Bitcoin as bin firm accepts cryptocurrency

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Re: Just another bubble

At least housing prices didn't go up 20x in one year. A chunk of the economy as huge as housing or stocks can't go up nearly as fast, nor fall nearly as far as bitcoin inevitably will. It will be fun to watch from the sidelines.

Google asks browser rival Vivaldi to post uninstall instructions

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Do as we say, not as we do

After all, there's only room for one evil overlord.

Peak smartphone? iPhone X flunks 'supercycle' hopes

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

If there is a "supercycle" at all, it will be next year. Then they will have phones in both regular AND plus size available in the new design, and won't have the production constraints causing a late launch that mostly missed the Christmas season.

Even if Apple sells only the same number of phones they sold last year they'll still do better revenue wise, since the ASP will be up quite a bit thanks to the X having a higher price.

Curious though why the article mentioned the Chinese Android sellers cutting stock orders by 10%. Even if Apple did have a "supercycle" was that supposed to make Android phones sell better somehow? I shouldn't think it would have much effect on the Android market either way - particularly the Chinese OEMs who are selling phones at much lower price points than Apple.

We need to talk about mathematical backdoors in encryption algorithms

DougS Silver badge

Re: Layered encryption

Well if you used the same key then an attack on the outer layer of encryption that recovered the key would be sufficient to decrypt the entire thing. So obviously you'd need a separate key for each layer. In reality it would just be a longer combined key, which you'd split and use part of it for each layer.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Layered encryption

DES was "terminally compromised" by an attack that reduced the effective key length of 56 bit DES to 40 bits which was crackable even in the late 90s. 3DES would have gone from an effective key length of 168 bits to 120 bits, which is still secure (note that these key lengths can't be compared to the key lengths of other schemes like AES where 120 bits would be useless)

If there was a mathematical backdoor in DES, then triple DES wouldn't do much good. But if you encrypted with say 3DES, then AES, and finally Twofish, for example, then even if there were mathematical attacks against two of them, you'd be saved by the third.

DougS Silver badge

Layered encryption

If you used multiple algorithms wrapping each other it would be less efficient, but even if one had a backdoor you'd need a backdoor to all of them to get at the juicy plaintext.

I've read claims that encrypting already encrypted content is somehow less secure than a single layer of encryption, but I've never seen anything to back up that claim. I suspect it is an "old wives tale" of cryptography, but if anyone can point to evidence it really is the case, please do so. Obviously if there's some "known plaintext" like in a header or something you'd remove that or obfuscate it in some way to prevent it being levered as a way of breaking its outer layer (t.b.h. the same potential known header issue exists with compressed files and tar files, but no one suggests an encrypted bzip2 or tar file is less secure...)

Erase 2017 from your brain. Face ID never happened. The Notch is an illusion

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why the sudden bezelphobia?

There are a few phones that are thicker and offer bigger batteries, but they don't sell well. Samsung offers so many different models, they'd have a "Galaxy S8 Extra" or whatever to go along with the Plus and Active if they thought it would sell.

The fact you can add a case that has a built in battery to get the same thing kind of negates the drive to have a product that builds it in - you get a thicker phone that lasts longer either way, but relying on customers to buy a case does it without the risk of bringing to market a product with a niche audience.

DougS Silver badge

Re: What's so bad about bezels?

Physical buttons are not worth the huge amount of wasted space that could be used by a screen. The whole reason for going touchscreen was to eliminate the need for physical buttons.

DougS Silver badge

Re: What's so bad about bezels?

That's a good reason to not have the screen go out the very edge on the sides, but is that really a reason to have a big 1/2" bezel on top and bottom? Dunno about you, but I never held my phone by the top or the bottom.

DougS Silver badge

You've got nine other fingers if one is "compromised"...

DougS Silver badge

Cheating on your wife

If your wife has your PIN/password she can use that to unlock a phone locked with biometrics, too. No difference over a non-biometric phone for cheaters.

Apple solved the "police can force a biometric unlock" problem with a simple method to instantly disable biometric unlock on your phone, making it so your password is required. The problem is, in the UK among other countries the police can force you to give up your password and jail you if you don't. So whatever you're protecting on there better have worse consequences than the jail time you'll do for refusing to provide the password, or you better REALLY feel strongly about standing on principle.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why the sudden bezelphobia?

Its simple, because you want the biggest screen you can have without making the phone of an unwieldy size. Only two ways to do that, have less wasted space so the phone is all screen, or have a phone that folds.

There have been rumors about Samsung and Apple working on folding phones, but I'm really unsure how that's going to work. Presumably you'd want to end up with something in the neighborhood of 16:9 for the unfolded phone. So is it a really long 16:4.5 or a squarish 8:9 in your pocket? Neither one really appeals to me. Maybe its a trifold, so you can start 5.3:9 and it'll be almost tablet size unfolded, but I have to imagine that would be pretty damn thick when folded! It will be interesting to see what they come up with, and whether people will really accept it or it'll be a passing fad like 3D TV.

DougS Silver badge

Re: FaceID is better than Touch ID, in most cases

Its a mixed bag for me. I find it unlocks as quickly and naturally as Touch ID unlocked my 6s plus, but the requirement to look at it sometimes trips me up - i.e. if I'm watching TV and reach for my phone laying to the side if I don't slide my gaze over to it for a moment it'll fail to unlock and I have to relock/unlock it (anyone know if there's another way of telling Face ID "try again" other than hitting the sleep wake button once to sleep it and then again to reawaken it?)

When I'm riding my bike and I have my phone in a little mount on the handlebars I can't seem to get it to unlock while I'm riding. The combination of wearing helmet/sunglasses and movement/bouncing around a bit seems to be enough to put it off. Maybe if I trained it by entering the password after those failures...though typing in a password while riding would be even harder! I didn't really get an opportunity as I only had two rides in early November before fall really took over and the bike was put away.

With the phone lying flat I don't have any problems, I just have to lean forward a bit as I tap on the screen. You don't need to be fully above it, about a 45* angle seems to be sufficient.

DougS Silver badge

The notch fades after a few days

When I bought my X I wasn't certain I was going to keep it - not only because I was unsure about the notch, I also was unsure about giving up some screen width from my 6s plus and whether I'd feel Face ID was as simple as Touch ID.

After a few days I stopped noticing the notch entirely, it doesn't bother me at all. I think I can see why Apple decided to do that - they want to remain visually distinct from other phones. The iPhone always has been, since no one else aped the big round home button - though it did end up costing them in an inability to reduce bezel size when other phones did in the last few years. They could have simply let the area around the 'notch' be bezel so no notch was required, but I think Ive chose the notch because the combination of that and rounding the screen could probably be successfully defended in court as trade dress.

The fact Apple haters hate the notch is only a bonus as far as Apple is concerned - no one is going to try to copy it when Android buyers hate it so much, so the iPhone's look will remain unique. Putting form over functionality to some extent has a long history - the shape of the Coke bottle being a prime example. You didn't have to see the label printed on it, if you saw the silhouette of the bottle you knew it was Coca Cola.

Pest control: Eggheads work to help RoboBees dodge that fly-swatter

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wot about the mice ?

A lot of places sell copper mesh for dealing with mice because it is uncomfortable for them to chew through. They can do it, but are supposedly less likely to do so than through other metals.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wot about the mice ?

Wrap it in a couple layers of copper mesh, perhaps?

Russia could chop vital undersea web cables, warns Brit military chief

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Nuclear depth charge?

If you want to collapse the chunnel, wouldn't it be easier to smuggle an "ordinary" suitcase nuke onto one of the trains and blow it up from the inside?

I don't know how carefully cargo trains crossing are checked, but conventional explosives could probably do the job if you could bring a few hundred pounds of Semtex in some cargo... This would have the bonus of offering the possibility of making it look like terrorists, or Iran or North Korea, so the real perpetrator could plead innocence.

Ex-Microsoft intern claimed one of her fellow temps raped her. Her bosses hired him

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Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

Well obviously there are degrees. Forcible rape is much more serious than a quick grab of the ass.

IETF protects privacy and helps net neutrality with DNS over HTTPS

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Re: This proves it...

If by "routing around it" they meant "turn everything into HTTP/HTTPS because that's all you can count on firewalls letting through" then I guess they were right.

FREE zero-day for every reader: AT&T's DirecTV kit has a root hole – and no one wants to patch it

DougS Silver badge

On the twelfth day of Christmas a hacker gave to me, 12 DNS hijacks, 11 MITM Piping, 10 IoTs a leaking, 9 ladies dildos spying, 8 trojans a milking, 7 bitcoin ransoms, 6 lords a pissing (over privacy), 5 Android cracks, 4 jailbreaks, 3 spam bots, an update through flash and IE and a raid by the cops for child pornography.

DougS Silver badge

On the seventh day of Christmas a hacker gave to me, 7 bitcoin ransoms, 6 lords a pissing all over privacy, 5 Android cracks, 4 jailbreaks, 3 spam bots, an update through flash and IE and a raid by the cops for child pornography.

DougS Silver badge

On the fifth day of Christmas my hacker gave to me, 5 Android cracks, 4 jailbreaks, 3 spam bots, an update through flash and IE and a raid by the cops for child pornography.

DougS Silver badge

Likely the tip of the iceberg

Cable/satellite companies just care about adding features for their customer's convenience, like wireless, streaming content off their DVR while away from home, and so forth. No doubt most are riddled with holes like this example, because they slap together open source tools without paying any attention to security.

Critical US mass spying program scrutiny lost amid partisan nonsense

DougS Silver badge

Re: The deadline was extended until April

You have a lot more faith in the courts to restrict creative interpretations of the law by the executive branch than I do, I guess.

DougS Silver badge

The deadline was extended until April

So they don't need to act on it in the next couple weeks.

Australian central bank says 'speculative mania' and crime fuel Bitcoin

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It is only useful for crime or large transactions now

With the transaction fee now at $20 and still climbing, you aren't going to buy a cup of coffee or a wireless router with bitcoin.

Auto auto fleets to dodge British potholes in future

DougS Silver badge

We're less likely to see major potholes with autonomous cars

What makes a small pothole big is people driving over it constantly. Where I live potholes are common, and even in the summer when freeze/thaw cycles are not an issue you see potholes growing when people keep driving over them and chipping away a bit more and increasing its size.

Autonomous cars will steer around them, alert the road crews, and the road crews will say "eh, as long as there's room to swerve around it why bother fixing it". And they might be right, why should they be fixed if they can simply be avoided? That would be the meatbag option as well if we were always looking closely at the road ahead, but usually I rely on memory - I have hit a jarring pothole in a certain location a few times so I remember it for the future and pay attention to avoid it when I return.

No one saw it coming: Rubin's Essential phone considered anything but

DougS Silver badge

I think the author meant to say only 0.085% of Android owners unlock the bootloader. Sure, let's say Essential owners have a 50% rate of unlocking the bootloader. That means they have sold 10K instead of 5K. Still a major fail considering how much hype there was for it pre-launch.

One per cent of all websites probably p0wned each year, say boffins

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What I don't understand

Why would someone who gets the passwords test them out by logging in with them? If the Reg was hacked, why would the hackers login with all of our accounts to test them? If you test a few you know they work, and testing them all would probably set off alarms with some. Plus it isn't like having control of a lot of accounts at a place like this is of any use to anyone.

Now if it was a bank or something, sure, then it would be something they'd test because they'd want to use them.

If they're really seeing 1% of their accounts get logged in to, the real percentage of compromised sites may be much higher!

As for the "well known American startup", that sure sounds a lot like Uber. Another "feather" in their cap...

DougS Silver badge

I don't suppose the AC has any stats to back that up? Of course not, he gets his 'facts' from the same place as Breitbart, no doubt!

NASA says New Horizons' next stop might have a moon

DougS Silver badge

Re: Not again...

what do you call it when a moon has a moon?


Its turtles all the way down!

Lights, camera, 802.11ax-ion!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Chicken, Egg

Eh, I'm skeptical there is any need for gigabit speeds to a single client, let alone multi-gigabit speeds. What's the use case? Faster downloads of the latest iOS update? If you are working with huge video or CAD files and have a very fast fileserver, sure, but that's a corner case and one that's usually handled by using a wire.

We've reached the limit of sensory input to humans, even streaming 4K Blu Ray quality video is only 100 Mbps or so. Anyone who thinks we're going to keep going to 8K, 16K and beyond just because it will become possible needs to read up on diminishing returns, and understand why consumers didn't care about better-than-CD quality audio formats and instead were perfectly happy with less quality in the form of MP3 and AAC.

Not saying we'll never need gigabit speeds to a single client, just that there isn't anything that needs a gigabit today or on the horizon, aside from a few niche cases that don't justify the development cost. Luckily 802.11ax is about using spectrum more efficiently to allow more clients to transmit simultaneously, rather than being about letting one client use more of it at once like previous standards.

DougS Silver badge

Re: 10 Gig?

There's almost no purpose to higher speeds for a single client, I agree, but the headline feature is better sharing of resources since a single client isn't hogging a whole 20 MHz wide channel for itself when it isn't using close to the whole capacity. Instead a couple dozen streaming clients could share that 20 MHz channel instead of having to switch back and forth and waste resources when one is getting data at 20 Mbps over a channel capable of many times more than that.

It also uses the 20 MHz wide channel more efficiently (higher order modulation, assuming sufficient SNR) so it squeezes more bits out of that before it subdivides it amongst a bunch of clients that have ordinary 1-100 Mbps type needs instead of ridiculous demands for a gigabit.

But yes, you'll need a faster than one gigabit connection if you will actually have enough clients connected at once doing enough stuff that the gigabit will be a bottleneck. NBase-T lets you go up to 5Gbps over the same wiring you used for gigabit (cat5e or better) which maybe isn't able to squeeze every last drop out of 802.11ax, but how many people will have enough wireless clients going over one AP that regularly exceeding 5Gbps is going to be an issue for them? If so, maybe you need to think about adding another AP...

DougS Silver badge

@Alan Brown

Unlike 2.4/5GHz 802.1ax runs at 60GHz or higher

Where do you get this idea? It runs in existing 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. You're thinking of 802.11ad.

Facebook announces ad revenue reroute: When Irish eyes are crying

DougS Silver badge

"Aggressive tax avoidance"?

Laws like that are terrible, because what is "aggressive" is subjective. Two people/companies could be using the same method and one found guilty and the other not based on who happens to review their taxes, or if they had a fight with the wife that morning.

DougS Silver badge

Re: It's over guys.

Eventually Myspace was doomed because of problems with spam, but they were WAY worse than Facebook. Also there was an alternative for Myspace users to migrate to - Facebook.

Where is the alternative for Facebook users to migrate to? Without that, it is going to take a lot worse before they leave. They might start using it less but they aren't likely to leave.

DougS Silver badge

How will they allocate the cost?

In a given country they make X in ad revenue, and have Y in expenses for local sales people and support staff. So their gross margin is X-Y. How will they account for the servers, people to run them, network costs, and so forth? That's where it gets tricky, and a lot of room is left to make that profit shrink to almost nothing.

It is a lot more transparent for companies that sell products, especially if they don't sell directly but only through third parties. Then it is wholesale price X * units N - local support staff cost - allocated share of corporate overhead = profit. It is easy to allocate your overhead based on the revenue in that country versus your worldwide revenue.

US authorities issue strongly worded warnings about crypto-investments

DougS Silver badge

I thought George Soros was supposed to be one of the puppet masters? If a billionaire has puppet masters, where are these trillionaire puppet masters?

DougS Silver badge

Has anyone seen reports of REAL bitcoin millionaires?

As in, they actually cashed out ahead over a million dollars? I'm sure there are a few, but someone who bought a few hundred bitcoins a couple years ago for $5000 and who now have holdings worth $2.5 million or whatever aren't millionaires because the price of bitcoin could drop back down to where it started the year by Dec. 31.

Having a million dollars worth of bitcoin is one thing, but given how illiquid the exchanges are, someone who tried to sell a few thousand of them at once would probably cut the price in half.

Google's Project Zero reveals Apple jailbreak exploit

DougS Silver badge

Re: The question now is...

Why would they need to retaliate? He told Apple about the bug, Apple released an iOS update that fixed it, a week later he made the info public. If he was making the exploits public without telling Apple about it I could see where they'd be pissed, but he's helping them out here.

Besides, if you read the sequence of steps here this is a REALLY esoteric and out there bug. He didn't just find a corner case, he had to build the corner first. If this is an example of the amount of work it takes to find a new jailbreak level attack, Apple is closing in on shutting down jailbreaks entirely.

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