* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

IRS tax bods tell Americans to chill out about Equifax

DougS Silver badge

Still haven't figured out the profile on people who were affected

I wasn't affected and I checked for my mom and dad as well as they also weren't affected. We all have great credit scores, multiple credit cards, and a mortgage so it isn't like we don't use credit.

The only thing I can think of is that we haven't opened any new credit accounts for a few years - no new credit cards, car loans, mortgage refinances, etc. Maybe that kept us out of that list of 143 million people?

I agree with the IRS guy, I think it is virtually certain someone has stolen my personal information including SSN from somewhere already, and surely that's true of a lot of those affected by the Equifax breach. Most of us won't ever have identity theft issues because there's a limited market for identity theft. If there were tens of millions of cases of identity theft in a year, trying to manage that the current way would quickly become untenable.

At that point, companies would no longer issue credit without further proof I am who I say I am beyond my name, address, and SSN. They'd probably require appearing before a notary who could check my ID - ideally someone at my local bank branch who might even know me. While showing an ID, which can of course be faked, and appearing at my local bank branch doesn't guarantee someone there might know me, requiring personal appearance at all raises the bar and at least keeps foreign fraudsters out of the game. Those in the US who try to play would significantly increase their chances of being caught by showing up somewhere that has a lot of security cameras. Today it is almost impossible to get caught so it is a lot safer of a crime to commit.

Linux kernel community tries to castrate GPL copyright troll

DougS Silver badge

Re: How long before...

I was thinking the same thing. Sounds like an opportunity for someone to make a name for himself by leading a project to replace netfilter with code untainted by that leech.

The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury

DougS Silver badge

Changing the way you talk to suit your gadgets

I see this all the time with people who talk to their phone to do stuff. They have this sort of well enunciated clipped speech pattern, and use short simple sentences. By trial and error, Siri, Google, Alexa and Cortana are teaching humanity a new way of speaking. Step 1) speak slightly louder and more slowly than usual. Step 2) clearly enunciate your words by accentuating the movement of your lips. Step 3) clip the end of your syllables cleanly. Step 4) Use simple sentence construction with only one subject and object, as if you were speaking to a preschooler.

I live in the middle US, where it is considered that people have the least amount of accent in the country. I still find I have to speak differently to get understood - sure, I can talk normally and get understood more often than not, but it'll trip over certain words and you get annoyed and start adopting "machine speak" after you've had to repeat yourself a few times. It is like having to repeat yourself to someone who is hard of hearing.

I don't use voice commands for much - basically the only thing I use it for is if I'm in bed and I think of something I want to remind myself of and don't want to hold a bright screen up to my face and set back my attempts to go to sleep. Perhaps I'd use it more often if I could talk to it the way I talk to a normal person, but they simply aren't there yet. They're 90% of the way there, but that last 10% is going to take another decade, at least. Those who want to hurry this along have compromised by speaking in a manner which maximizes the chance of a machine understanding them. It is like watching a Monty Python sketch about people who have been possessed by machines.

I wonder if people who speak to their gadgets all the time will change their normal speech patterns and talk like that with humans? Maybe the way we'll finally break down "the common language that separates us" in the English speaking world is everyone being forced to homogenize their speech to be understood by their phones and other gadgets?

Here's a timeless headline: Adobe rushes out emergency Flash fix after hacker exploits bug

DougS Silver badge



Google isn't saying Microsoft security sucks but Chrome for Windows has its own antivirus

DougS Silver badge

Re: I will not have anything from google scanning my personal files. period

Why do you feel you can trust Microsoft with that information? The old pre Windows 10 Microsoft, sure, they were only interested in selling you stuff not selling you. Now they're interested in selling you too, just like Google.

That said, if forced to choose I would much rather give my personal information to Microsoft than to Google. One, because Google already has a massive storehouse of data they can cross-correlate it to. Two, because Microsoft's general bumbling and incompetence means they do evil far less efficiently than Google does these days.

Android ransomware DoubleLocker encrypts data and changes PINs

DougS Silver badge

It could be restricted so you're only allowed to use it on a device that's under management. The majority are not, so that would protect most of them. Presumably the transactions for remote reset / remote wipe / etc. require a certificate that gets installed when a device is managed, otherwise you have bigger things to worry about.

DougS Silver badge

Re: It only says it is a Flash update.

So I guess all that is required is you visit a site they've hacked? This could be almost any site given how many major sites don't keep up with patching, let alone the lesser ones. Imagine if someone hacked a site like yahoo.com with this payload?

I agree that presenting itself as a flash update is a smart strategy. Adobe's constant barrage of patches has trained PC users to click 'yes' on anything related to flash, and most people won't know that flash isn't even supported on Android. Much more likely to fool people than previous strategies trying to find those dumb enough to click yes to install a free app with celebrity nudes or whatever.

The big problem is that this could be sort of the "gift that keeps on giving". They hack a few sites, hit some people, then the sites are fixed. Hack another few sites, hit more people, and so on. Since the majority of Android phones won't see a fix for this, it could keep dribbling on and on for a long time. If they ever hit a really major site, look out!

Probably will also see some copycats, since you merely need modify the attack to deposit the bitcoins in YOUR wallet instead of the wallet belonging to whoever created this, and find your own web sites to hack.

DougS Silver badge

This would be easy to fix if they have a switch somewhere in the accessibility menu to allow other programs to set a PIN. Most people don't need accessibility options, so having something like this enabled by default isn't that great. If the only people who could be attacked by this malware were people who had enabled this option, the malware writers wouldn't bother.

Twitter to be 'aggressive' enforcer of new, stronger rules

DougS Silver badge

Re: If they ever shut down Trump's account

Ah, but herein lies the question: how would he do that?

Pretty sure he can get before the worldwide press with about two minutes notice if he wants, so he isn't going to have any problems with that. It isn't like one of us who could only whine to our friends about it.

DougS Silver badge

If they ever shut down Trump's account

Or even deleted one of his tweets, we'd see him throw a hissy fit bigger than any of the others he's thrown. He uses Twitter as a way to communicate directly to his followers - and everyone else, since it makes all the cable news nets whenever he tweets something so those of us who don't even use Twitter let alone follow him find out pretty quickly what he's been saying.

They'd have to be REALLY damn sure before they shut him down, and couldn't do it over something like the golf ball hitting Hillary thing (which, unless he has a golf course with a runway in the fairway, is basically implying that he's a shitty golfer who hits such bad shots he hits someone boarding an airplane!) That's not a threat, just a lame joke.

The risk is, if they maintain an obvious double standard where he's allowed to post the exact same things they shut down other people's accounts for, then they're going to catch a ton of heat. Shut down Trump's account on the other hand, and not only do you get the orange snowflake's outrage, but millions of his followers will turn on them. Dorsey's potentially setting Twitter up to make it a lightning rod for hate either from the left or from the right - or worse, both. That's not a good place for a business that wants to appeal to everyone, not become a darling of the right or the left.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Nope, @realPOTUS is here to stay

There is no "@realPOTUS". Trump tweets from his own account, not the @POTUS account which is the official account of the president.

WPA2 security in trouble as KRACK Belgian boffins tease key reinstallation bug

DougS Silver badge

Re: I've kept wondering why we haven't seen a WPA3 yet

The point is that different people come up with different things. There are multiple encryption algorithms, that have different weaknesses. Why wouldn't different WPA implementations also have different weaknesses? When you learn about a weakness in one (like this one for WPA2) odds are you don't have the same weakness in WPA3. And if some group is working on what will become WPA4, they can take the new information into account and protect it against what affected WPA2.

DougS Silver badge

I've kept wondering why we haven't seen a WPA3 yet

Just because no one had broken WPA2 is no reason not to see a WPA3 and even WPA4 standardized and deployed. Had they done that, if WPA2 is broken you'd simply need to deprecate WPA2 on your router (i.e. only allow it if the client doesn't support anything newer) and it would be a simple fix.

If WPA2 gets broken wide open, we're all screwed because there's no alternative to go to even on those devices that can easily have their firmware updated.

That's the biggest flaw with security standards like WPA, HDCP, and so forth. Once they believe they have it secure, they assume they'll be fine forever and only react after they wake up in the morning and find the barn empty.

Facebook, Twitter slammed for deleting evidence of Russia's US election mischief

DougS Silver badge

Re: Real Reason

That's hardly anything new. There has been a divide between urban and rural areas of the US since long before any of us were born, or our grandfathers were born.

The needs, lives and desired interface with and role for government differ greatly for a city dweller and a farmer.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Real Reason

It is actually the red states that get more in benefits from the government than they pay in. The big blue states like California, New York and Illinois are net contributors to the federal government - they pay more in taxes than they get back.

I'll leave this here, and count down the seconds until someone who doesn't like the message screams "fake news" or claims WalletHub is a liberal site (maybe it is, I just googled to find a site that showed recent rankings and explains the methodology used)


FCC Commissioner blasts new TV standard as a 'household tax'

DougS Silver badge

Re: Adblocker time...

When they say "ads are sent over IP" they don't necessarily mean "not over the air". One of the changes with ATSC 3.0 is that it uses IP framing. So "IP content" could be delivered as part of the OTA data stream along with the HEVC streams.

DougS Silver badge

ATSC 3.0 fixes a lot of problems with ATSC 1.0

If all they wanted to do was add support for 4K they could have added that as an extension to ATSC 1.0 and remained backwards compatible, but they changed its physical layer to use OFDM (i.e. like LTE) instead of 8VSB because it has far better multipath rejection (and works while in motion, because some hopeful fools think people want to watch broadcast TV in moving vehicles on their phones)

Multipath rejection is important because it will allow a TV station to broadcast on the same frequency from multiple towers, instead of currently where you need to broadcast on different frequencies and use PSIP to make it look like the same station. Making it compatible with LTE is important because instead of having just one or a handful of giant towers, they could have one big tower and then a lot of little transmitters on LTE towers to cover areas the big tower can't reach due to terrain. That will be far cheaper than running a bunch of translator towers in mountainous areas out west.

Not having an ATSC 3.0 tuner built into TVs is irrelevant, you'll be able to buy a tuner the size of a pack of cards with an HDMI pigtail on one end, and a coax port and USB port (for power) on the other for $50. They ought to quit mandating TVs have tuners at all (if they don't in the US you can't sell them as televisions, they have to be sold as displays) since the ATSC 1.0 tuner will become less and less important and the QAM tuner is mostly useless as more and more cable systems encrypt even their standard definition signals over the next few years.

Rather than hold back progress, if the FCC was concerned they could subsidize purchase of ATSC 3.0 tuners for people below a certain income level via rebates or something. Given how much money the FCC collected in the recent 600 MHz auction, this would cost only a few percent of those billions.

DougS Silver badge

Re: "The more you tighten your grasp, the more systems will slip through your fingers."

How does that make any difference? You still pay the same content companies, the only possible savings is avoiding renting the cable boxes (which you can do already if you buy a Tivo and rent a cable card)

People who think streaming is a panacea are going to be in for a rude awakening in a few years. Already the streaming market is being fragment, with Disney removing all their content from Netflix in a couple years, for example. They'll start their own streaming service. CBS is trying to leverage Star Trek to push theirs, and if they succeed no doubt the other networks will do the same. Before long you'll end up paying more if you want to watch all the same stuff because of all the different subscriptions that will be required. The only people streaming will help is those who don't really care what they watch, they can subscribe to Netflix and just watch something and be happy, and won't care about all the stuff they can't get on it.

US Congress mulls first 'hack back' revenge law. And yup, you can guess what it'll let people do

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hacking back against forged attacks

That's fine, because Alice can then hack Bob back and they're both trashed. Mutually assured destruction!

Pulitzer-winning website Politifact hacked to mine crypto-coins in browsers

DougS Silver badge

Re: alternative to micropayments?

I suggested this in another thread about this a day or two ago. I think sites could do this and be above board about it, and people would accept it. I'd much rather they waste my CPU time on something that pays them directly, than waste my CPU on annoying flashing autostart video ads. Or would waste my CPU time on annoying flashing autostart video ads if I wasn't running with an adblock.

I run with an adblock because the ads are annoying, but even if there was a "mining blocker" I wouldn't run with that so long as they were respectful and limited themselves to one thread that ran in the background while I was on their site, and would shut itself off when I switched off that tab or otherwise switched focus to something else. Then I'm paying them while I'm reading/posting on their site, and they don't have to worry about advertisers trying to control their content, shady ad networks, and so forth.

This is a win/win as far as I'm concerned. Maybe a viable micropayment system that replaces online ads is the killer app for cryptocoin mining?

Not sure why you got the downvotes on this, if people have an objection I wish they'd state it rather than doing a drive by downvote.

Beardy Branson chucks cash at His Muskiness' Hyperloop idea

DougS Silver badge

Regional transport

Who says the hub would have to be in London? It isn't in the center of the UK, and if Hyperloop even happens, the LAST station to be built will be in London. Because whether it goes above ground or underground, all the permitting and construction would take a decade or two, optimistically. I mean, how long does it take to add a new Tube line from initial plan to opening, let alone if they wanted to add a new rail line?

If they built a hub in the middle of nowhere then it could be opened quickly, and since it would be mostly a transfer station with few people starting or ending their journeys there, it could be compact and easy to walk from one line to another. Having the hub in London means it is the termination of most journeys which adds a bunch of problems (not the least of which is security since anything is more of a terrorist target in London)

Neglected Pure Connect speaker app silenced in iOS 11's war on 32-bit

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple fragmentation


The reason 64 bit mode uses more RAM and more storage is because you need to have both 32 and 64 bit libraries present on "disk" and in memory. However, once you drop 32 bit mode, there is almost no difference. Sure, pointers take up twice the space but pointers are a tiny fraction of the overall footprint so it wouldn't make 64 bit code or data requirements go up by even 1%. In fact, ARM64 code is actually slightly smaller than ARM32 code, because of new instructions that were added for stuff like conditional execution.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Twats.

I checked a couple months ago when I found out 32 bit apps wouldn't work, and I found a few. Apps I hadn't used for years, and had no problem deleting (I should probably clean up the rest of the apps I don't use, but I always think "well maybe I might need this someday...")

DougS Silver badge

That's one possible solution, but speakers that require an app to function are fatally flawed, IMHO. What's next, someone going to sell a car that can only be unlocked and started with an app?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Do we have grounds to believe the 8 and X can even run 32-bit code?

Actually, we know for a fact the A11 is incapable of running 32 bit code, and iOS 11 does not support it (i.e. no 32 bit libraries)

Obviously Apple did that by choice, but it hardly came as a surprise to any devs since as you say Apple has been selling 64 bit phones for four years, has not sold any 32 bit phones for two years, and has been requiring all App Store submissions to include a 64 bit build for two years (Pure's latest version must have just missed the deadline)

The people who bought Pure products got screwed by a shitty company, but that shitty company was not Apple. What did Pure plan to do if iOS 11 or the iPhone X had been incompatible with their app in some way? They couldn't keep using an app from 2015 indefinitely even if Apple was still supporting 32 bit apps, eventually something would break. I guess Pure doesn't care, they already got their money.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Commentards obviosly know more than mere mortals

2GB in the 8, 3GB in the 8 plus and X. Some may scoff and say "if it isn't more than 4GB they don't need 64 bit" but I/O is mapped to a 1GB or 2GB segment in the typical IOMMU (I don't know how much address space I/O takes on Apple's SoCs) and then you also need a separate mapped area for firmware. It is quite possible even a 2GB iPhone uses a larger than 32 bit address space, though if they REALLY wanted to I'm sure they could cram everything into a single 4GB area.

Anyway, the advantage of 64 bit on ARM is not dependent on needing a 4GB address space, but rather its far cleaner API. Dropping 32 bit support allowed Apple to drop two 32 bit APIs in the A11 CPU which would simplify the design and verification. They could have chosen to continue to support 32 bit apps via software translation, but they've been requiring 64 bit builds for two years now, so I think Apple figured this wouldn't have come as a surprise to any iOS devs. Unfortunately it does come as a surprise for companies who have outsourced their development and thus don't keep informed of Apple's future direction.

More and more websites are mining crypto-coins in your browser to pay their bills, line pockets

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hijack the hijack?

You wouldn't want to run a Javascript miner, you'd want to get one written in C for greater efficiency, or better yet runs on a discrete GPU if you have one. It is questionable whether it would pay for the electricity it uses, though if you have electric heat and it is cool enough inside then that's a better way of heating your home than a resistance element.

DougS Silver badge

Maybe this is not a bad thing

Given a choice of paying with my eyeballs and personal information, or paying with a little bit of my CPU time / electricity, I'll choose the latter!

Maybe some web sites should drop advertising, be up front about how readers are paying for their content, and see how it goes. What say you, El Reg? :)

Sure this isn't "green" (though where I live 1/3 of my electricity is generated by wind, so it would be 1/3rd green) but neither are all those flashing ads, autoplay videos and other crap.

This would have the advantage for news/review sites of removing any incentive for bias.

Crappy upload speeds a thing of the past in fresh broadband 'net spec

DougS Silver badge

Going up to 1800 MHz?

That puts rather limits the distance of the subscriber from the fiber node, since the higher frequency the greater the loss.

I'll bet we never see this from a major cable company sold to residential customers. It'll be sold exclusively to businesses because it is cheaper than running fiber all the way to their premises - but they'll still charge the very high prices they charge for gigabit or better symmetric service despite those savings!

Screw the badgers! Irish High Court dismisses Apple bit barn appeals

DougS Silver badge

Re: Creating 150 jobs

Apple said their data center in Iowa would have 550 construction jobs and create 50 permanent jobs. So depending on their relative sizes, the 150 jobs in Ireland could be construction or could be permanent.

And no, I have no idea how the state giving them a $20 million tax break and the local government giving them a $180 million tax break can possibly be justified for 50 permanent jobs. These tax incentives are a race to the bottom, big companies just take advantage of them.

If I wanted to open a little 20 seat diner that created 5 permanent jobs I'd love to get $2 million in state and $18 million in local incentives! It would be the most amazing goddamn 20 seat diner you ever saw and I'd be more than happy to pay those 5 permanent employees whatever Apple is paying their datacenter workforce for a seat at that tax incentive trough! Unfortunately only big companies that don't need the money get those kind of incentive deals.

DougS Silver badge

Re: No Operational Justification for placing a Data Centre anywhere in Ireland

You want the data close to the users, and jurisdictionally it is a good idea anyway. If Apple had all their data housed in the US, and then the EU required that data on EU citizens must reside in the EU, they'd be left scrambling. Might as well prepare for that eventuality (or maybe it is already true, I don't have any reason to know EU data protection laws) so if they're going to build in the EU, why not Ireland?

They already have thousands of employees there, the rather cool climate is a lot better for datacenters than say Spain or Italy, and even though it isn't that great for solar due to the latitude and clouds there's an unlimited supply of wind available.

DougS Silver badge

@Ledswinger - you sure have a high bar for green energy

If Apple was drawing grid power on those cold winter nights, but supplying an equal amount of on-site generated clean power to the grid at other times it is still carbon neutral. You don't need to run entirely off grid to be "green". If some of the waste heat was used to heat homes on days/nights when they need heat, they wouldn't even need to generate as much as they draw to OFFSET as much as they draw.

I don't know anything about the proposal and if it is intended to generate all its own energy or only a portion, but anyone suggesting that its "marketing tripe" if they don't have enough batteries to run without grid connection is utterly clueless.

DougS Silver badge

If there are, Apple got screwed out of whatever they paid on their end since it is 2 1/2 years and counting since the announcement and they still haven't got final approval!

Open source sets sights on killing WhatsApp and Slack

DougS Silver badge

Too many chat networks

The last thing we need is yet another one.

OnePlus privacy shock: So, the cool Chinese smartphones slurp an alarming amount of data

DougS Silver badge

Re: Does IMEI count as personally identifiable info?

It isn't personally identifiable by itself, but all they need is to tie your IMEI and you together ONCE, and then it is personally identifiable info from then on, until you change phones.

Gartner says back-to-school PC sales failed. IDC says they worked

DougS Silver badge

They look at results first

Then come up with reasons why they weren't what they had predicted in the past. Since Gartner's figure showed yet another big drop while they predicted only a small drop, they had to come up with yet another excuse from their random excuse generator.

IDC's figures showed a very small drop (and therefore are probably wrong) so they could hardly claim component shortages were hurting the market, because that would have implied otherwise there would be been strong growth and their prediction of a slight drop in sales would be wrong.

If someone managed to swap Gartner's and IDC's figures without them knowing, their stories would have changed. Why anyone pays these idiots, or pays attention to them for anything except to make fun of them when they are wrong yet again, I have no idea.

Here's my (free of charge) prediction. PC sales will continue to drop at 3-5% YoY, despite what Gartner and IDC think. PC replacement cycles continue to lengthen, because what's the incentive for a typical person with a working circa 2009 PC to replace it? Plus, people use their smartphones for more and more of their day to day stuff like checking email, playing games, chatting etc. so the PC becomes less important or even unnecessary for more people every year.

Cortana, please finish my sentences in Skype texts for me

DougS Silver badge

Re: I wonder how quickly 4chan will make Cortana a Nazi?

What mechanism would cause general anesthesia to kill you days, weeks, or months after it was administered? It seems much more likely it is complications (or lack of success) from the surgery that is killing 1 out of 10 over-65s, not the anesthesia itself.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I wonder how quickly 4chan will make Cortana a Nazi?

1 in 10 chance of dying from general anesthesia? Damn, you need to find a MUCH better hospital!

Sniffing substations will solve 'leccy car charging woes, reckons upstart

DougS Silver badge

You could also use natural gas generators, which are even cleaner than diesel/gasoline engines, and equally efficient in large forms. Obviously you would eventually want clean generation, but you can't put up all those turbines and panels overnight.

I'm not sure how much natural gas the UK has, but the US has more than we know what to do with as a byproduct of fracking. Other than older areas of the NE, the US has a very well developed nationwide natural gas pipeline system so this would be quite practical as a short/medium term measure to supplement the grid for EVs until everyone has solar panels on their rooftop and will never use the grid to charge it except on long trips.

DougS Silver badge

Re: In around 1907 it took 3 minutes to turn around an electric bus with a new battery

Swapping batteries allows you to balance out the draw throughout a 24 hour period (assuming there are enough spare battery packs) whereas in vehicle charging means you will hit your peak when there's the most traffic. One of the peak traffic periods is afternoon rush hour, which is also the peak load in summer, so you really don't want to be adding the charging of all those cars on top that peak!

The chargers at the stations could be controlled so when it gets hot and the load on the grid begins to peak, the charging of those spare batteries shuts off. They could also preferentially charge late at night when grid demand is low and pricing is better. In fact, you could even reverse the flow and discharge the spare batteries to supplement the grid during extreme load situations during heat waves. That would be preferable to overload leading to a blackout, which no one likes when it is 100 degrees out.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Now you won't be laughing at us crazy Americans

No, the US feeds 230v into those 200A and 400A panels, with two phases of 115v. Combine the two hots and you get 230v, use just one of them and you get the 115 volts that most items in the home use.

Thus a 200A panel will supply 46 kW, though per code they are supposed to be spec'ed at 80% continuous draw, so you shouldn't draw more than 37 kW for any sustained period of time. In reality it is difficult to draw that much, because you'd have to exactly balance the 115 volt draws on either phase. In practice you'll end up with more on one than the other, so realistically if you think you'll need more than 30 kW for any sustained period of time you should go with the 400A panel.

DougS Silver badge

Now you won't be laughing at us crazy Americans

With our 200A or 400A breaker panels in most new construction. I recall more than once reading comments from non-Americans wondering why in the world we needed so much electricity. Guess we were just planning ahead and didn't know it :)

Super Cali's futuristic robo-cars in focus – even though watchdogs say they're something quite atrocious

DougS Silver badge

@Aedile - Re: Fully exposed?

How many can they kill daily and still be preferable? 3,286.

That's so utterly wrong I can't believe anyone would be stupid enough to post something like that! Let me give you a choice of playing two games to illustrate. In one game the average player has a 1 in 1000 chance of dying, but your skill and attention when playing the game has a strong (but not absolute) influence over your chance of dying. In the other game the average player has a 1 in 1001 chance of dying, but it is completely random and nothing you do has any influence whatsoever on the odds of dying.

If you had to play one, which game would you choose to play? Hint: its a trick question, there is only one right answer and it isn't the one you suggested in your post.

What you said may be correct from the perspective of society as a whole, but no rational individual would choose a self-driving vehicle in which they had only slightly less chance of dying than the statistical average. First, because most people consider themselves better than average drivers, and second and more importantly because those figures include stuff like drunk drivers, deliberate suicides, people on drugs, people who have been awake for 48 hours and can't keep their eyes open, people who are extremely stressed, people who are texting while driving, etc. Now if you're a habitual texting-while-drunk-driving-and-sleep-deprived driver, then yes you should want the autonomous car, but you'll be the only one.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fully exposed?

Yes, much more so than people who set cruise control and fall asleep! The cause of those crashes isn't cruise control it is falling asleep! Comparing that with letting the Tesla "drive" for you, without it doing anything that forces you to pay attention or keep your hands on the wheel is utterly ridiculous!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fully exposed?

He was treating it like an autonomous vehicle because Tesla didn't take any measures to prevent people from doing so, and gave it a name that implied it had more autonomous ability than it really did. So yeah, I think calling it the first autonomous vehicle fatality isn't inaccurate.

There will obviously be more fatalities when they start operating autonomously "for real", and unfortunately many are likely to be similar to that Tesla crash - an accident that a human driver never would have had. True, they will no doubt prevent deaths that would have happened if a human driver had been present, due to the fact it will always be paying attention, follow traffic laws, etc. but that's not what people will focus on. Using statistics that say "over X miles we'd have expected Y fatalities but we had less, so autonomous vehicles are a success!" won't assuage the fears of people when self driving cars get in accidents humans wouldn't have.

That's why I keep saying that autonomous cars need to be proven to drop fatalities by 90% over the average sober human driver before they gain wide acceptance. It needs to be 90% because most people think they're a much better driver than the average person, and needs to only count non alcohol related fatalities because most people don't drive drunk.

Fuming Qualcomm smashed with 23 BILLION DOLLAR fine in monopoly abuse probe

DougS Silver badge

Re: 23 B

Human traders wouldn't be fooled by this, it would only hit high frequency program trades. I have absolutely no problem with misleading headlines causing them to screw up and lose a bunch of money!

Apple's iPhone X won't experience the joy of 6...

DougS Silver badge

Re: I've never believed this year would be the next iPhone "supercycle"

Rumor has it they can only make 3 million X's per month, they will obviously sell all they can make at such low production volumes but it means almost all their sales will be 8s and older models. You won't be able to infer anything about the success of the X based on total sales figures, since they'll be selling at least three 8s for every X at those volumes.

They should be able to ramp sensor production over the next year (they'll have to if they want to make mass market phones using that technology next year) but I suspect that rather than ramping X production throughout the year they'll build inventory to insure next year's launch won't be constrained by sensor production. Their new model is always constrained by something since everyone wants to get the one right when it comes out, but every year they get caught up a little bit earlier so at least shortages don't drag into the new year like they used to.

DougS Silver badge

Not saying they will reduce the price on the X, it will always be $999 - but I'm willing to bet it will not be sold after Sept. 2018, instead the 8 will become "last year's model" in their pricing matrix. Perhaps the reason the iPhone 8 was $699 instead of $649 like the 7 was last year was to pave the way for an increase in price for the next year's flagship, which might similarly start at $699 or get another bump to $749 or possibly $799. No way they go any higher that than, it will be nowhere near $999.

That $999 price was chosen for a couple reasons aside from "because we can" and "we'll make more money". One, because the supply of X's will be limited anyway, why price it lower and make a long waiting list even longer? Two, because a lower price for the X would have more people choosing to forgo the 8 and instead of get on a months-long waiting list for the X. If you don't get your X until June, you certainly won't be buying a new phone in 2018, or likely not even in 2019. They'd rather sell you an 8 now, and a 12 or whatever they call a couple years from now.

Those two reasons will no longer exist next year when production volumes are up. Sure, Apple could price it at $999 "because we can", but such a high starting price would put a big crimp in sales so "because we'll make more money" would probably not be true because the reduction in units sold could easily outweigh the increase in profit per unit. The increase in price of the 8 from last year's $649 to this year's $699 could be partially to test the market - i.e. let's see how much a $50 price increase influences people to buy an older model instead. The 6S/6S plus remaining on sale when in past years only the previous year's iPhone was still being sold may also be part of such an overall market test.

They will gather a lot of data about their market based on product mix from 6S/7/8/X at those various price points, which will tell them what they need to know about what sort of prices and offerings they'll want for next year.

Russia to block access to cryptocurrency exchanges' websites – report

DougS Silver badge

Re: Banning it so it must be popular

You have some gun laws?!

Sure do, no private ownership of fully operational tanks and artillery! Though the NRA is probably lobbying congress to change that, because I'm sure they'd tell us a howitzer could be used for hunting...

DougS Silver badge

Re: Banning it so it must be popular

We invaded Canada, found out there's nothing there and it snows nine months of the year and hails the other three, and went back home.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019