* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Trump's tax tease will be a massive payday for Valley tech giants and their shareholders

DougS Silver badge

Not sure if a 20% corporate tax rate is good enough to get companies like Apple holding trillions overseas to bring it home. They got a 5.25% rate when Bush had a repatriation holiday, they might be happy about a lower rate at home but still hold out for a lower rate for overseas cash.

If they don't need it now - and especially if they can borrow against it at historically low rates - why pay 20%? All they'd have to do is whisper "give us a repatriation holiday and we'll create jobs in the US" in Trump's ear and he'll start tweeting at congress demanding they pass a repatriation holiday immediately, and falsely claim it was a big success for job creation under Bush and needs to be repeated.

I don't know why it would hurt Europe if the cash was brought home. Most companies are like Apple and invest their cash very conservatively. The financial services industry doesn't make much on money market accounts or rolling over short term bonds.

DougS Silver badge

I'm its a coincidence the plan includes a huge tax break for Trump

The 25% pass through income for "small businesses" is a massive giveaway to the rich, many of whom like Trump own private companies that are organized as S corps or partnerships and thus income passes through to personal income taxes (where it is taxed at 39.6%, or at 35% if the rate in the new plan went through, which almost few would end up paying)

If you tax pass thru income at 25% you can bet every entertainer, sports star, Wall Street banker and so forth will ask their employer to please treat them as a contractor, and pay their salary to their shiny new S corp, thus dropping their tax rate from 39.6% to 25%. That would massively increase the already too large budget deficit, unless you're dim enough to believe that tax cuts from current rates will increase tax revenue. It certainly didn't when Bush did it from rates almost identical to the current ones: he turned a large and growing surplus into a massive deficit in record time. It might also starve SS & Medicare, if the pass through rate doesn't also incur these taxes like regular income does (for only the first $130K for SS)

I suspect that won't stop republicans from continuing to make false claims that the rate cuts will pay for themselves because of all the economic growth they'll supposedly generate. The economy has been expanding (albeit rather tepidly) for a near record breaking length of time, so we're probably overdue for a recession. Of course economists will tell you the best time to do tax cuts is during a recession, but that requires the discipline to raise them during growth to contain inflation.

At last, someone's taking Apple to task for, uh, not turning on iPhone FM radio chips

DougS Silver badge

Re: Meanwhile...

Well at least they're safe from hurricanes, unless there's a LOT more global warming!

DougS Silver badge

Re: How does an FM radio "save lives"?

Flash floods like those in Houston that flooded entire neighborhoods in a matter of a few hours, dams potentially breaking like in Puerto Rico. Another major storm following on the heels of the first, like happened in some Caribbean countries.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Google says that...

I think the Qualcomm chip used in iPhones includes FM in at least some models, but Apple has never activated it.

However, the Intel chip that Apple is using for the versions that don't need CDMA support does NOT include FM. Apple is likely to switch entirely to Intel in a couple years when Verizon switches off their CDMA and they no longer have any need for that support.

So today some iPhones couldn't enable FM even if Apple wanted to, and tomorrow none will be able to unless Pai starts calling Intel out publicly to include FM in their LTE chip.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Antennae?

If headphones plugged into the 3.5mm are used for the antenna, I wonder if it would even work for headphones plugged into a Lightning or USB-C port? If you're using wireless headphones, forget it.

At the top of the FM band, 108 MHz, the wavelength is 2.77 meters. So even if you were willing to include an antenna over an inch long - wasting precious internal space for a feature few will ever use - you're talking about an antenna that's only 1/100th of the wavelength!

An antenna at such a tiny fraction of the wavelength is incredibly inefficient, you'd need to be very near the broadcast to pick anything up. I guess you pretty much have to use the headphones as an antenna, but that's another reason why hardly anyone uses FM on their phone....though the biggest is that commercial radio is so full of ads it is impossible to listen to. Even free ad supported streaming radio like Spotify has far fewer ads - and at least there you have a lot more choice about what you're listening to.

DougS Silver badge

Re: People who live in hurricane prone areas

And how many FM stations are set up to run off a battery/generator drawing only tens of watts? If anything is going to be set up for that, it would be weather radio. NOAA uses public bands a bit higher in frequency (162 MHz vs 88-108 for FM) and since it is designed primarily for emergency warnings it would likely have the necessary generators in place and fuel on site, and choose tower locations based on emergency scenarios. The number of TV and radio stations that went offline in Houston shows that few commercial enterprises care about such planning, it cuts into profits.

DougS Silver badge

People who live in hurricane prone areas

Should have one of those hand cranked weather radios. Relying on a smartphone to listen to FM is stupid, because what do you do when it runs out of juice and you don't have power?

Besides, didn't many stations go dark in the Houston area during the worst of the storm, and AFAIK they're all dark in Puerto Rico have been for some time. Ideally you'd have something that could pick up AM, since those signals travel much further so it isn't a problem if all the FM stations within range are gone.

Bless their hearts: Democrats want $40bn to spruce up America's bumpkin broadband

DougS Silver badge

Broadband is coming to rural areas

Google 'fixed wireless LTE'

You better explain yourself, mister: DARPA's mission to make an accountable AI

DougS Silver badge

Re: Even simpler...

Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. People are very resistant to "amending their programming" when it comes to core beliefs. No amount of proof will satisfy a creationist that the Earth is older than 6000 years, or a Nazi that other races are inferior. One need look no further than both the political right and political left to see plenty of examples.

Hopefully if we ever do achieve true AI, it will be a different kind of intelligence than humans and won't be subject to similar biases and cognitive dissonance. It would really suck if we finally got AI, and all the robots were racist against humans.

iOS apps can read metadata revealing users' location histories

DougS Silver badge

Re: Accessing as files

What I meant was accessing the same bits that filesystem contains for that file, so the EXIF data would come along for the ride. If presented as a data structure, then the EXIF data could be zeroed (pointer = NULL) for the sensitive structures like location, date, etc. I certainly wasn't talking about reading the raw disk like your reply assumed.

DougS Silver badge

Accessing as files

That assumes that iOS apps are accessing files directly when given access to photos, as opposed to get a handle to some sort of object or stream. Any iOS devs out there who can comment? Since iOS doesn't allow the end user direct filesystem access, I figure apps probably don't get it either. Thus it wouldn't be that hard for them to fix.

If Android apps are getting access to the files themselves when they access photos, this fix wouldn't be possible there. They'd need to create some sort of virtual filesystem to do this. Maybe it is possible with FUSE, though I haven't really look at its capabilities so I don't know for sure.

While I get the "if you don't want EXIF data exposed, disable it" sentiment the problem is that it is highly useful to have it for yourself. It shouldn't be a decision between giving up the convenience of having that data attached to your photos, and making it available for apps that have photo access to get it too. For instance, if you upload a photo to Facebook, it is a safe bet they're collecting the attached EXIF data for their own use of feeding their advertising monster, even though it is erased before it is posted to Facebook for the world to see. It would be an interesting experiment to start accessing FB through a VPN, upload a bunch of photos with EXIF data altered to they were taken in Switzerland in the past 48 hours, and see if I start getting shown ads for things to do in Zurich.

DougS Silver badge

The OS could allow apps access to temporary copies of the files that have the EXIF information blanked, unless you choose to allow the app "photo metadata" permissions - that's what you'd use for something backing up photos or copying them off the device.

Sounds like iOS and likely Android both will need to do some tweaking in how they handle photos, as this would reveal a LOT of information about those who take a lot of pictures.

3D selfies? What could possibly go wrong?

DougS Silver badge

It is hard to know exactly what they mean by 1 in a million. Do they mean there are 7,000 people in the world who look enough like me to unlock my phone? Or does this have to do with how the algorithm works? Obviously there has to be some 'fuzz' built in or if you wake up with puffy eyes you wouldn't look like you anymore and your phone would refuse to unlock.

Perhaps the algorithm that converts your face data into a "mathematical representation" effectively works like a perfect hash table with a million entries. In that case the one in a million false positives could be totally random - your second cousin Eddie who everyone says looks exactly like you might not be a match, but some rural Chinese grandma is.

DougS Silver badge

Re: So..

When the X was introduced I saw an article quoting a guy works with 3D facial recognition in the high end security market. He said the iPhone X appeared to have the necessary sensors to tell the difference not only between a perfectly printed 3D mask and a real face, but between a living face and the head of a corpse. Its not just the eyes that can help tell the difference, but also translucence of living skin and areas of different temperature due to blood flow, etc.

He said that the software to do this is very complex so he doubted they'd be able to do it from day one, but that Apple could improve it over time. So by the time someone is able to use this software to create a perfect 3D mask with pig eyes or something, it may not fool Face ID (or if it does, won't fool it for long)

Dot-Amazon spat latest: Brazil tells ICANN to go fsck itself, only 'govts control the internet'

DougS Silver badge

@Jamie Jones

So any international company that wanted to sell to people in the UK would need a .co.uk, and if they only had a .com people in the UK would assume they don't do business there?

The web address is unimportant, I'll bet most people who want to go to apple.com to look at iPhones just type 'apple' in their address bar. If there was already an apple.com back in the day and Apple was forced to use 'applecomputer.com' it wouldn't matter today. The address bar search would direct them to where they wanted to go.

These days some local companies have pretty ridiculous URLs because if your business was called "Johns Refrigeration" there could be a hundred of those worldwide. So if you assumed your local guy got "johns.com" or "johnsrefrigeration.com" you'd be wrong - unless you live in Arizona.

In Chicago maybe your guy is "johnsrefrigerationchicago.com" if you're lucky (and want to type all that) but you'd find it isn't and have to search anyway. Even if there was a TLD "refrigeration" there could still only be one johns.refrigeration so that doesn't help you. If there was a TLD "chicago", there could be only one johns.chicago and it might be a pizza joint or clothing store. Internet search (assuming it isn't gamed by SEOs) solves the problem better than anything else so far.

DougS Silver badge

Re: The whole thing's stupid

Yes, this was a perfect example of why new TLDs should never have been created. The previous structure with countries having their own and a .com, .org, .edu and mostly redundant .net was fine.

I get why countries that arrived late to the internet party weren't happy that US companies had already land grabbed many of the "prime" .coms that were simple words for what people wanted, but by the time they finally approved the new TLDs internet search had rendered those rather pointless (could 'business.com' sell for anything close to what it did back in the day?)

Trump accuses Facebook of bias, collusion with his least favourite newspapers

DougS Silver badge

Wait, what? You seriously believe the way to get Trump is to present him facts and evidence? He doesn't care about such things at all, he bases what's right and wrong on what helps or hurts him personally in the moment.

Essentially invisible: Android big-daddy Andy Rubin's hypetastic mobe 'flops in first month'

DougS Silver badge

No matter how you slice it, those numbers indicate a flop. If it is only being distributed by a single carrier in the US despite all the hype, it was doomed to failure before it started. Either he made that choice deliberately which was stupid, or that's the only carrier he could find who even wanted it.

When its "great feature" was that stupid 360* camera attachment, it was obvious all the hype was undeserved.

Signal taps up Intel's SGX to (hopefully) stop contacts falling into hackers, cops' hands

DougS Silver badge

Yeah the main flaw here is that while embedded security processors like SGX, Apple's Secure Enclave and so forth are theoretically hackable, there's a lot bigger target on Signal's cloud servers doing all this processing since bad actors can get everyone they're looking for all at once. If you had an exploit for an iPhone's Secure Enclave, AND even if it was somehow remotely exploitable, having to hack them individually means you'd never get more than a tiny fraction of everyone you're after.

As always, if you have someone able to conduct remote exploits at this level after you personally, you should quit worrying about security & privacy and just accept that you're screwed.

Twitter's 280-char blog mode can be enabled client-side. Just sayin'

DougS Silver badge

Re: Double trouble

You're really comparing democrats to screaming babies, when your guy in the white house is the biggest baby of them all?

Alleged dark web drug baron cuffed – after he flew to US for World Beard Championships

DougS Silver badge

So the proof he's their guy is possession of PGP private keys?

It will be interesting to see how that holds up in court. I think we all know the reasoning is sound, but I'd expect his lawyer to request a jury trial and try to confuse a technologically clueless jury with alternative explanations for why he was found in possession of that key.

Power meltdown 'fries' SourceForge, knocks site's servers titsup

DougS Silver badge

Just my luck

Yesterday was the first time in forever I wanted to download something from them, and every time I've tried (including just now again) it is still offline!

Have MAC, will hack: iThings have trivial-to-exploit Wi-Fi bug

DougS Silver badge

Re: iOS 11 brings more issues

Yes I agree. Think like your grandma instead of like a technically inclined person. It is easy to accidentally pull up control center and randomly change the state of stuff. Having it 'reset' overnight is not that bad of an idea for people like that. Having off mean off in Settings makes sense from this perspective, because it is less likely to be run accidentally.

They probably should have done something to make people aware of this change, like say the first time you turn one of them off in control center it lets you know they will be re-enabled at 5am and to use Settings if you want it to be more permanent.

I'm sure this was deliberate, is probably documented somewhere as such.

DougS Silver badge

First of many, no doubt

Now that security researchers have started digging around in smartphone wifi chips for exploits, I expect such issues will be regularly reported on both iOS and Android over the next year.

What worries me are all the places they haven't looked too much yet (especially Qualcomm's cellular baseband) where no doubt a lot of problems lie. The NSA and other state sponsored hackers have probably stolen Qualcomm's code long ago and have an extensive list of 0 days they can use in that space.

White House staffers jabbed with probe over private email use

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@Big John

Finding out whether anyone is really breaking the law is why you conduct an inquiry, which is what they're doing now. I know you'd prefer it be a secret inquiry, so there you don't have to read headlines about the Trump administration using personal emails, but republicans didn't give Hillary that option - she was convicted of treason by Fox News before any facts were known.

As for all the scandals being "supposed", Mueller supposedly starts interviewing White House staffers next week (leaked by the staffers, not by Mueller FYI) so I don't think you'll have to wait much longer before they are no longer "supposed" and indictments start flying.

And no, Occam's Razor suggests they were trying to hide illegal activities. Same reason they constantly lied about not having any contacts with Russians, when it turned out just about everyone in the campaign met with them. The only major figure not proven to have done so is Trump, which he probably did believing others would take the fall for him. We'll see how that goes when Manafort and others are indicted - especially since he's likely to face charges from the state of New York which a president cannot pardon, so he's likely to eventually rat out all the players including Trump.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Am I paranoid?

Is someone maintaining a list of what the Trump fans believe he's "getting done"? Yes, he's undoing a lot of Obama's executive orders but what actual forward progress is being made? If his goal is simply to roll back everything to the state it was in when Bush left office in 2009 because his followers hate the idea Obama was president and want to erase him from history, I hope that doesn't include the economy.

Twitter to upgrade from micro-blogging to milli-blogging with 280 chars

DougS Silver badge

Re: Twitting Twitter

s there a collective noun for twits?

An administration.

Mozilla whips out Rusty new Firefox Quantum (and that's a good thing)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Will it slurp your data like Chrome?

This is the huge feature all those whining about obscure extensions no longer being supported are missing!

Or they can keep using Firefox version 56 forever, I guess.

Toshiba: The memory saga is nearly behind us! Apple: Not so fast

DougS Silver badge

Re: Any idea what Seagate gets?

One less competitor, assuming the various consortium partners who need flash like Dell and Apple will collectively take all the output so it isn't sold on the open market?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why is this so hard?

Apple isn't doing this as an investment, but rather to further their business goals. Most likely it is as many have suggested, that they are in it to get some guaranteed NAND/DRAM supply. If so, they are probably haggling over the amount being guaranteed to them, or how it will be priced.

Boeing slams $2m on the desk, bellows: Now where's my jetpack?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Already done?

Where does it say Boeing expects the general public to use this? It would be intended for military or rescue operations, not a shortcut to work over congested highways.

You and I are never getting jetpacks.

Equifax CEO falls on his sword weeks after credit biz admits mega-breach

DougS Silver badge

Yes and no. Executives have certain windows during which they can sell shares, and generally file their plans in advance just to avoid this type of controversy. However, they don't always note the exact number of shares, which leaves wiggle room to sell a lot more than originally planned if they become aware of adverse information.

If you had filed that you were going to sell 100,000 shares over the next couple years, and originally planned on selling say 12,500 per quarter but knew something bad happened and decided to sell 75,000 shares instead it would be following your SEC filing but would still be illegal insider trading. What makes it illegal isn't selling shares before bad news (or buying before good news, like a buyout) but basing your trading decisions (including decisions on how many shares at to buy or sell) based on that information.

I haven't seen the Equifax CEO's filings and trading history, but I imagine the SEC will be taking rather a close look. The problem would be in proving that if he i.e. sold 75,000 shares when he had previously always been selling 12,500 shares that it was done illegally. He might be able to convince a jury that he was house shopping in the Hamptons and wanted to have cash at the ready in case he found what he was looking for. Get a realtor friend to say "oh yeah, I showed him several properties in July" and there's your reasonable doubt...

So. Should I upgrade to macOS High Sierra?

DougS Silver badge

Already pretty well tested

The iOS 10.3 update earlier this year converted everyone's iPhone to APFS, so with north of a half billion successful conversions I think Apple is more than ready for doing it on the Mac.

iPhone 8: Apple has CPU cycles to burn

DougS Silver badge

WTF, Shield TV is WAY behind!

Per Geekbench, a single core of the A11 just about beats your Shield TV's multicore score!

http://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/compare/4216188?baseline=4003276

The A9 in my two year old 6S plus puts it to shame, it isn't even as fast as recent Android flagships. Maybe you're talking about GPU performance or something?

DougS Silver badge

Noticing something interesting

There are a lot of people saying basically "what's the use of a really fast CPU in a phone". Now maybe that's true, we aren't mining bitcoin on our phones after all. But it is interesting the people asking that mostly appear to be on team Android, and one thing you always hear from them is how "far behind" Apple is compared to Android. Rather than concede Apple is totally wiping the floor with them performance-wise, they dismiss the importance. Meanwhile, if you want to know how Apple is behind Android hardware-wise, you'll hear stuff like this:

"Can't believe Apple isn't shipping with more RAM!"

"They don't have QHD displays, how quaint!"

"Look at that huge bezel ugly cutout!"

Apple has now doubled single thread performance versus the fastest Android phones, that's a pretty astounding achievement no matter how you look at it. An iPhone 8 will probably still be faster than the fastest Android you can buy for Christmas 2020... (If you doubt that, consider that the A9 in my iPhone 6S plus I bought two years ago is still faster in single thread than the fastest Androids you can buy today, and the A10 and A11 have only extended that lead) Will this actually matter though? Well, that depends on what sort of apps people consider important in 2020. I'd wager it matters more than a QHD display or wireless charging...

DougS Silver badge

I can't speak for the iPhone 8, but my 6S plus can run the CPU at full tilt basically non stop without getting all that warm, thank you very much. Just because you think "any smartphone" will shut itself down from heat if you do that doesn't make it true. Now I'm not sure what the use case for running a smartphone's CPU at full tilt for a half hour would be exactly, but if anyone figures that out Apple is ready.

The only thing I've noticed that will make my phone get close to what I'd consider 'hot' (not hot enough to burn, but hot enough you definitely notice) is using a lot of LTE data in an area with weak signal.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Please explain to me ...

If all you want to do is call and text, you don't even need a smartphone. Buy a $20 feature phone that can standby for a month and call it good.

If calling is getting further and further down the list of things you do with your phone, then more performance might come in handy for you.

Fresh chips from Intel (yay?) at 14nm (awww)

DougS Silver badge

Re: DougS Intel's 14nm is roughly equivalent to TSMC & Samsung's 10nm

It has failed. Even Intel no longer believes they have a chance to win any significant market share in mobile. The only reason anyone would have ever considered x86 in a phone was 1) if it was significantly faster than ARM in a phone or 2) because they want to run standard Windows applications on a phone. Intel couldn't even manage #1 when they did have a process lead, without it they know they have no chance, that's why they axed the product line. #2 depended on Windows Phone becoming a success, and we all know what happened there.

Intel winning the graphics wars was inevitable when they started integrating the functionality on-chip, because most people don't need high end graphics performance. Anyone who thought they'd fail was an idiot to believe people would want to spend more getting a low end discrete card instead. They haven't bothered with the high end market because they know every generation of integrated GPU nibbles away a little more of the discrete card market. ATI was already forced to sell itself, the same fate awaits NVidia eventually.

Anyway, I'm not saying this will kill Intel, they will retain their x86 quasi monopoly because AMD is a terminally weak company that Intel can put back in their place with some appropriately placed price cuts to starve them of revenue. What it has done is killed their process lead which means AMD will now be competing with them on equal footing, thus Intel will have to resort to such price cuts more often.

Intel's plan of becoming a foundry to help fill their fabs has fallen flat on its face, as without a process lead they have no competitive advantage against TSMC, Samsung and GF, and they're just another competitor, with a higher cost base and annoyingly restrictive design rules. I wouldn't be surprised to see Intel sell off their fabs and use a foundry within a decade. They make their money from selling x86 CPUs that are the defacto standard, not from owning their own fabs. That was only worthwhile when it offered a competitive advantage, but that's gone now.

DougS Silver badge

Intel's 14nm is roughly equivalent to TSMC & Samsung's 10nm

And their 10nm is roughly equivalent to TSMC & Samsung's 7nm. That said, Intel still isn't shipping 10nm CPUs and rumor has it their 10nm process is now getting pushed back to late 2018. That means Apple's A12 built on TSMC's 7nm process will be shipped in the tens of millions by the time Intel starts shipping 10nm CPUs in quantity.

Intel has lost their process lead, and the main reason is the money Apple, Qualcomm and others have been pouring into fabs since smartphones became a mass market product. That money has allowed TSMC and Samsung to invest heavily and catch up and soon surpass Intel. Less than a decade ago Intel had around a three year lead on the foundries, and if they hadn't been busy trying to push x86 for mobile they might taken some of that cash and preserved their lead.

Their failed mobile strategy will probably be taught in business schools in 2030 as a cautionary tale about hubris.

Web devs griping about iPhone X notch: You're rendering it wrong

DougS Silver badge

Re: Goodbye HTML

It may not sell a whole lot at first due to production constraints, but it is a safe bet they'll use the same design for their whole new line next year, and there will be an installed base of a couple hundred million such phones by Sept. 2019.

DougS Silver badge

When you turn it sideways

That problem has already been solved, or so it seems. I saw a video of an iPhone X watching a video. The guy turned it sideways and it showed the normal 16:9 (thus black screen on both sides since it is 18.5:9 or similar) but when he tapped to zoom it, it used the whole screen so the video was notched on one side. Which is fine, because if you are OK with losing some of your picture on the top and bottom due to the zoom, losing a little bit on one side due to the notch isn't likely to be an issue and at any rate zoom isn't the default.

Ideally when viewing a web page sideways it would not use the notch, but zooming it would allow doing so. Obviously you wouldn't want to if it was one of those annoying web sites with no margins that has content all the way across from left to right, but if the notch took away some margin - or better yet some of the ads - then it isn't a problem. If Apple convinces web site designers that having no left/right margin on mobile is SHITTY design, then even those who hate the notch will have to tip their hat to it (sort of like how Apple haters have to give them credit for making flash protocol non grata on the web)

DougS Silver badge

I don't get it

Why not just reserve the left/right area in the notch for status information and leave that there all the time? It wouldn't be useful for a web site to display "full screen" in that area anyway, so why account for it at all? The web page should be below it. Honestly I'd prefer not ever having a true "full screen" and always having the time displayed.

I can't see them having much luck getting web designers to account for that, at least not for a few years until Apple can get up to a quarter billion or so 'notched' phones in circulation and they're harder to ignore.

Brit broke anti-terror law by refusing to cough up passwords to cops

DougS Silver badge

Copy the real (encrypted) data into the cloud

Then download an image prepared for border transit. Encrypted with the password "fuckoffyoupigs" that you will happily provide. Containing a huge messy directory structure and a million small files, all of which contain a few keywords that will trigger their automated tools and flag them for human assessment. They'll say stuff like "sorry there's nothing about ISIS, Al Qaeda or bombs in this file, but here's my favorite cookie recipe".

Bonus points if you hack the directory structure to create loops and other traps designed to crash their forensic tools, so they have to dig through 100 directory deep structures manually!

Perhaps an open source crowdsourcing effort could help create such an image so we don't all have to go to so much effort to create our own.

Boffins take biometric logins to heart, literally: Cardiac radar IDs users to unlock their PCs

DougS Silver badge

Heart ID

If you have the capability to ID people by their heart, presumably you can continually monitor their heart's health and let them know when something is amiss and might want to schedule a checkup, or call 911 for them when things really go wrong.

Researchers promise demo of 'God-mode' pwnage of Intel mobos

DougS Silver badge

How is this an x86 problem? Corporate users demand this sort of "lights off" remote management capability, and if they were using ARM PCs that provided the same features there's nothing special about ARM that would prevent the same problems.

It is down to poorly written software, but even well written and highly audited software sometimes has security issues found in it. Programmers only have to screw up once to leave a hole open.

Complain to your vendor if they don't offer a way to disable the functionality in EFI.

Hotter than the Sun: JET – Earth’s biggest fusion reactor, in Culham

DougS Silver badge

Coal ash has another problem

It is radioactive. Not highly, but unlike nuclear we aren't containing (well usually, modulo Chernobyl & Fukushima) it, but letting some of it out the smokestack to diffuse throughout the environment.

Don't panic, but.. ALIEN galaxies are slamming Earth with ultra-high-energy cosmic rays

DougS Silver badge

Perhaps particle jets at the poles of a supermassive black hole?

That might explain why we don't get them from our galactic center, because the jets aren't aimed our way. But the jets from some distant galaxies are - or rather were aimed where we are now when the particles would be emitted.

Driverless cars will make more traffic, say transport boffins

DougS Silver badge

@AC - "getting Tesla fanatics all riled up"

I'd wager that Tesla owners skew pretty liberal, so I doubt calling them socialist would rile them up all that much. Now try that with pickup truck owners and you'll get a very different result :)

Brit chip design company Imagination Tech sold to China-linked private equity

DougS Silver badge

Re: Balls.

Apple was rumored to be negotiating with them a couple years ago, but they were unable to reach a deal. Apple never had any interest in buying them, all they might want would be acquiring/licensing IP. If they bought them outright, they'd be responsible for existing customer contracts and support which could run for years. Basically they'd have to keep operating it as an independent company, which isn't what Apple does with its acquisitions.

A Chinese owner would be good news / bad news for Apple. It is good news because Chinese companies almost never fight IP cases off their home turf, so Apple is unlikely to be bothered outside of China. The bad news is that Chinese courts are notorious for enforcing weak cases against foreign companies, so they'd probably lose even if Apple doesn't use Imagination IP (FWIW the hardware capability claims they're making in their developer docs include some that have never been done in Imagination GPUs, so it is by no means certain Apple's new GPU is infringing)

Apple will probably end up having to pay the 'China tax' either by purchasing a perpetual license from the Chinese company for the IP or letting the court dictate things, but most likely they'll be off the hook in the ROW.

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