* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Scientists measure magnetic field around most distant galaxy yet

DougS Silver badge

Re: Not So Hard

For an elliptical, the top is the view where it rotates clockwise of course!

Facebook will deny ads to repeat promoters of fake news

DougS Silver badge

Re: Curious

Well at some point you have to trust someone. You believe the Earth is round, why? You've never been in orbit to see that with your own eyes, you basically consider that a fact because "everyone says so". (Yes I know it is possible to prove it using math, but let's assume you're an average person for whom that math is beyond their abilities)

If you have multiple third party sources, and they all claim "Obama was born in Hawaii" as a fact, then Facebook would bury any links to 'news' claiming otherwise. Now there may be fringe fact checking sites that claim he was born in Kenya, and others claiming Trump had sex with 12 year old girls in the company of Jeffrey Epstein. If you trust one of those as an arbiter of your version of facts, you won't be happy with Facebook's list of third party sources, I imagine.

The problem will come in when eventually they're proven wrong about something. Someone will come up with a birth announcement for Obama on a Kenyan newspaper dated 1960, or video of Trump having sex with a 12 year old, and will insist because ONE THING was proven otherwise that the whole fact checking thing is slanted and some alternative source that was correct all along about that should be used instead. OK, it wouldn't be something huge like that, but even if it was something meaningless they'll try to elevate it and say that all facts should be considered suspect, even the political equivalents of the Earth being round.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Cue the inevitable

The fact that once in a while a story is retracted shows journalism at work - when something doesn't follow their rules for sourcing etc. they pull it. Has Alex Jones ever retracted one of his nutjob conspiracy theories? He probably still thinks Obama was born in Kenya, the Clintons had 50 people murdered, and that pizza shop was running a child sex ring out of its nonexistent basement.

I know the Trump defenders like to point out "ooh, CNN had to retract this story, Washington Post had to retract that story" etc. as a way to try to muddy the waters and claim ALL negative stories about Trump are fabricated fake news. Sorry, their unretracted stories that are the product of good journalism continue to add a little bit more paint to the canvas of Trump's eventual downfall day by day. I know you don't buy that, but even what Trump's team admits to versus their original statements that denied even talking to or knowing Russians has to worry you a little bit deep down that maybe your guy isn't who you thought he was.

Not to say there aren't fake news sources on the left, but it certainly isn't coming from the Washington Post.

DougS Silver badge

Cue the inevitable

Complaints by people on the fringes that the "third party fact checking sites" are biased when the fake news they're dumb enough to actually believe gets rejected.

New York Police scrap 36,000 Windows smartphones

DougS Silver badge

Re: Swap due to incompatibility to an incompatible OS?

Probably not that it is less expensive to port to iOS, but that they don't feel very confident Windows Phone has any future beyond Windows Phone 10 so a port to that would be throwing good money after bad. If they're going to have to port it anyway, it is probably the same difficulty to go to Android or iOS. You can buy cheaper Android phones, but iOS is supported for much longer after sale and the updates get to the phone the day Apple releases them, versus months or never with Android.

Some people may whine about Apple being more of a "closed system" but the NYPD is going to lock down whatever phones they get as much as possible, so that's irrelevant to them.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Choice of Technology...

Android is a real problem for security, because the updates take months to get to the phone since they go through the OEM and then the carrier, plus they generally stop getting updates at all after a year or two.

Sure, if you get lucky and choose correctly you might end up with one that is supported longer, but its a crapshoot. Even Google won't guarantee updates beyond two years for the Pixel.

DougS Silver badge

Re: WTF?

Since when has any Android phone still got updates five years after sale? Or did you root it and install generic Android on it, which isn't exactly something the NYPD would consider...

DougS Silver badge

Give them to the poor?

Just because they're poor doesn't mean you have to be so cruel as to give them Windows Phones!

DougS Silver badge
Thumb Up

And here's how this entry will look on her resume

Given sole authority and supervision for multi-million dollar purchase of tens of thousands of smartphones a major pillar of New York City's overall drive to bring the NYPD into the 21st century. Integrated with existing Windows based systems via over a dozen bespoke apps. Based on departmental evaluation of the overall success of this project, immediate plans were made for another major smartphone purchase.

Its all in how you write it...it'll sound like a success to anyone who reads it so long as they don't google her :)

DougS Silver badge

So not only is she incompetent at her job, but apparently she's difficult to get along with if she doesn't get her way so people give in to her rather than fight her when they know she's making a mistake? That sounds like a winning combination...why does she still have that job??

Another dimension, new galaxy. Intergalactic planar-tary: Join us on our 3D NAND journey

DougS Silver badge

Re: all this techy stuff is great

I wouldn't worry about storing 8K videos because there's no point in filming at that resolution. 4K isn't nearly as big of an improvement over HD as HD was over DVD resolution. The difference between 4K and 8K will be almost impossible to see unless you have an absolutely massive TV, so why would any non-professional ever want to film in 8K?

NSA ramps up PR campaign to keep its mass spying powers

DougS Silver badge

Re: "What's sad about it..Obamacare..does have some serious issues that need to be addressed"

The passing of the original AHCA was pretty interesting. Unlike the republicans who tried to write bills in secret and send out them for votes with no committee hearings, no markup, and almost no discussion in congress, they had dozens of committee hearings, and republicans submitted many amendments that were voted on and approved. When it came time to vote for the finished product, however, EVERY republican voted against it.

It is a good thing the strategy republicans tried with Trumpcare of ramming something through without any debate or amendment failed, or I fear that would become the norm for both parties when they have control, to the detriment of us all.

DougS Silver badge

Re: "he couldn't even get his party to agree on what to do about Obamacare. "

What's sad about it is that Obamacare really does have some serious issues that need to be addressed, that simply repealing it will not fix. Trump's administration is actively contributing to its problems in multiple ways, such as by not committing to the federal money that helps subsidize it for low income people, so insurance companies are being forced to assume no support in their pricing. That leads to even larger premium jumps and helps their argument that it is "exploding".

Since too many republicans have made promises to "repeal" it (the "replace" was added later when they realized some of their own constituents would vote them out if they simply repealed it) they can't be seen doing anything that a primary opponent could call "fixing and leaving in place". So it is purely political calculation for many who want to keep their cushy congressional seats (and provides a perfect example of why we need term limits - the ones who have announced they are leaving are always braver and do things for country above party)

On the other side the democrats are equally political, they're happy to vote in unison against whatever republicans try to do, and plan to use republican attempts to repeal Obamacare and actively try to sabotage it during the 2018 and 2020 election cycles. Sort of a page from the republican playbook during the Obama years - be a party of obstruction, a party of "no", and tell the voters "you should vote for us because we're stopping the other side from doing what they want" which is exactly how republicans were running when Obama was in office.

It is really ridiculous how openly political both sides are, and the people are caught in the middle with individual health plans becoming more unaffordable by the day, and most republican or democrat voters believing the bullshit their party is slinging about the situation, and not knowing anything close to the truth, so that they look the other way while they play their political games.

We could go a long way toward fixing it by taking the best ideas from each side - allow selling insurance across state lines, have Medicare negotiate with drug companies over pricing, etc. I'm hoping for some sort of "gang of 8" style centrist group to get together in the senate and force through something that's not really a republican or a democrat solution, though the far more partisan house may refuse to follow (a consequence of gerrymandering, which should be outlawed when we slap term limits on them)

DougS Silver badge

It will be interesting this time around

In the past, the NSA has had a lot of support from the administration/president (both from Bush and Obama) for this. This time around, it isn't certain. Trump hasn't indicated any position on this, and doesn't really care about policy - he's more of a "wants to be seen doing something" guy than caring about what actually gets done.

The fact that FISA spying on Russians led to evidence that fingered Flynn and Sessions among others for talking to Russians without disclosing it, and led to the former's ouster and latter's recusal (which in turn enabled Mueller's appointment) probably won't be lost on Trump. While dropping section 702 probably wouldn't have stopped that surveillance (since surveilling the Russian ambassador makes sense regardless of overall spying) it certainly can't help his view of and therefore support of this program.

Of course he's alienated many congressional republicans and congressional democrats never listened to him anyway, so maybe it doesn't matter since congress will be cowed into acting over fear of getting blame for their vote if another attack happens. But it won't help the NSA's case if the administration is silent. It would be nice if Trump could do ONE positive thing for the country, even if it was simply out of spite. Perhaps a veto is too much to hope for, but what the hell I'll hope for it anyway.

James Webb Telescope will be infatuated with Europa and Enceladus

DougS Silver badge

Active for five to ten years

Why such a short lifetime, compared to Hubble? Is it because it will be difficult or impossible to service because of its orbital location at L2?

Minnesota Senator calls out US watchdogs: Why so cozy with Amazon?

DougS Silver badge

It is surprising how quick it was for one reason

Trump hates the Washington Post, because they have real journalists who do old-school investigate reporting, including digging up dirt on him and his campaign (i.e. "fake news")

Jeff Bezos, founder/CEO of Amazon, also owns the Washington Post. Trump even hinted at antitrust issues with one of his tweets, though his lawyers may have told him saying stuff like that isn't helping him look less guilty so he decided not to intervene.

DougS Silver badge

"why a process that usually takes several months to complete was concluded in less than 10 weeks"

Doesn't it usually take longer than "several months"? And isn't "several" usually taken to mean something like 'a single digit number greater than 2', meaning 10 weeks is only three weeks short of fitting in such a definition?

Ad blocking basically doesn't exist on mobile

DougS Silver badge

I assume the trial ended after Google and Facebook sent some large men in dark suits with a suitcase of cash in one hand and a hammer in the other, who said "which would you prefer?"

DougS Silver badge

Re: iOS

There are plenty of adblockers for iOS. I just checked and I use Firefox Focus (it is a browser but also functions as an adblocker)

It looks like iOS can support more than one at once, even. I honestly haven't checked into this at all since iOS 9 added the support because what few ads do get through when I'm browsing with Safari are not problematic as far as I'm concerned. I don't need perfection, just a good browsing experience, which Firefox Focus seems to provide (and I didn't have to disable Javascript)

DougS Silver badge

Safari blocks the worst of the ads

I just picked an ad blocker at random a couple months after the facility became available with iOS 9 - I couldn't even tell you the name of the one I'm using without looking, or if there's something better about. I have no idea how it is deciding what ads to block, but I'll see pages that have panels reading "advertisement" here and there which presumably are the blocked ones, but there are also some ads left in place.

There's a great way to tell how well it actually works though: Facebook. When you follow links in the Facebook app you're using Facebook's built-in browser. It uses WebKit for rendering but doesn't invoke Safari's support for ad blocking. You see all the horrible ads in all their glory, including all the ads that pull you into a different page you can't escape (you can hit Facebook's back arrow at the top left to leave its browser, but then if you go back to the link you have lost your place) that tells you "you won" or shows a roulette wheel type thing...I don't really pay attention because I rarely see that since I got the ad blocker. It is also much slower browsing in Facebook - not sure if that's because Safari is faster, or all that crappy ads are slowing things down.

If you try to read a site using such mal-adware (is there a name for ads that steal you from the page you want?) it is impossible if it requires hitting "next" a dozen times to read the whole thing, like "listicles" will do. You'll get pulled off your page before you can get through it, and then if you go back you'll be at the start again! However, if you use the "open in Safari" option and read it there, it works perfectly. Even better than perfect for pages that support 'reader mode' so it is all in one page with ALL the ads gone. I've never once had an ad steal me to a different page there, either the ad blocker is getting them all or Safari itself has built in protection for ads trying to pull you to another page. It is night and day different.

I know some people hate Apple's control freakery, but one place they could exert some positive control (well positive for users, not for mal-adware scammers or Facebook's bank account) is to require every app using the WebKit framework to use the available adblockers like Safari does.

US focuses eyes in the sky as Hurricane Harvey starts to slam into Texas

DougS Silver badge

Re: A couple models are showing the potential for 60" of rain in localized areas

Saw yesterday evening the Euro model was showing two local peaks of 51". The storm is so slow moving and the Gulf water is extremely hot right now, that's already a bad combination but more and more models are coalescing on a view that the storm will move inland and then turn back on itself to dump maximum rain on places being hit twice. They really need it to either speed up or at least turn a bit to share the pain with other areas instead of concentrating it.

DougS Silver badge

A couple models are showing the potential for 60" of rain in localized areas

Hopefully that won't come to pass, that would be a disaster worse than Katrina.

Hash of the Titan: How Google bakes security all the way into silicon

DougS Silver badge

No different from anyone else, then

Intel CPUs support all the same - we just don't boot directly into signed code with the full root of trust. But they can do that, if you want. Apple's SoCs do the same, and I'll bet Qualcomm's SoCs support it as well though like Intel CPUs probably the OEMs don't take full advantage of it.

Now if there's no way to turn it off then they'd have bit of a leg up on others, but that makes testing a lot bigger pain in the ass. Otherwise requiring a signed bootloader and up doesn't guarantee perfect security, as the holes found that allow jailbreaking on iPhones demonstrate.

Samsung heir does not pass Go, does not collect $200

DougS Silver badge

Don't forgot about the exploding washing machines! Happened to a friend of mine last fall, and he had the Facebook pictures to prove it.

DougS Silver badge

Meanwhile the US couldn't even jail one guy

Despite all the obviously corrupt things that happened that helped cause the housing bubble and economic collapse in 2008, and here bribing the president or politicians to do your bidding is called "lobbying" or "campaign finance".

'Driverless' lorry platoons will soon be on a motorway near you

DougS Silver badge

That's fine, they don't need to deliver to the shops (where you need someone in the truck to get the stuff out of it and into the shop)

They could still have (eventually) autonomous trucks driving those routes, and a guy who's just along for the ride and does the grunt work that the truck can't do. Another option would be having a few guys who have a preplanned route who are each in a separate autonomous car that takes them to the shops where they do the grunt work, so there isn't as much down time.

i.e. if you have a flower delivery truck that has only a dozen stops in a day over a 200 mile route that's a lot of wasted time for a guy sitting in the truck, but there was one guy in each town who helped with getting stuff out of the flower truck, the meat truck, the furniture truck and the beer truck he would have only a few minutes of downtime between stops so they'd need fewer people overall. It would take a lot of clever coordination to pull that off, but that's the kind of stuff computers are good at.

PC sales to fall and fall and fall and fall and fall for the next five years

DougS Silver badge

Too optimistic

They are lumping tablet sales in with "PC sales", and showing them with a big fall (which is probably correct) So in their mind PC sales (desktop, laptop, "detachable tablets" which are not tablets they're laptops) will go up. They won't. They'll fall, and fall more than 1.7% annually they show the entire desktop+laptop+detachable+tablet market falling.

What's the incentive to replace a working desktop or laptop today? There is none, because the only major improvement made in that time is replacing hard drives with SSDs. The CPUs have hardly improved at all, so what was good enough in 2012 is still good enough in 2017 because Microsoft quit making Windows and Office demand more and more resources.

But being wrong is nothing new to IDC and Gartner. They have to be, because it is the PC OEMs, peripheral OEMs, software OEMs, etc. who pay them for the details on this research. People don't like to pay to hear something they don't want to hear. So of course their predictions are always too rosy, and always show huge growth in the latest trend (i.e. their ridiculous predictions of tablet growth a few years ago, now replaced by ridiculous optimism for what they call 'detachables')

Seriously, friends. You suck at driving. Get a computer behind the wheel to save your life

DougS Silver badge

Tesla crash rates

That 40% reduction in Tesla crash rates hasn't gone unnoticed.

That 40% reduction in Tesla crash rates is statistically meaningless, TFIFY.

If people self select when to use "autopilot" during the most boring but also easiest driving (i.e. like on an expressway) having fewer accidents per mile when it is enabled versus when it is not would hardly be surprising.

Unless the typing of driving being compared between 'on' and 'off' autopilot is exactly the same, a lower accident rate doesn't prove anything. Statistically some of the most dangerous driving is on two lane roads late at night - people are tired, roads are curvy, and the risk of head on collision or collision with animals is high. That's probably not when people are turning it on.

I do agree with your sentiment that insurance companies are who will push autonomous cars, when they arrive. But they'll demand proper statistical research proving how much better it is, not anecdotal self-selected evidence from a facility that isn't intended as autonomous and should never have been named in a way that implied it was.

DougS Silver badge


Your definition of "proper roads" is one with which I'm not familiar. I've driven on those one lane roads where you have to back up if there's an oncoming car, so I recognize their existence and the inherent difficulty (and negative cost/benefit ratio) in widening them to actually have two lanes. So they are something autonomous driving software will have to handle.

However, I don't see any reason an autonomous car should have difficulty with it. It could go in reverse at the same speed it goes forward equally safely, unlike a person. An autonomous car should also have a much easier time of navigating very narrow roads compared to a person. You damn sure wouldn't see cars driving around with their driver's side mirror gone if they were all autonomous, and I've seen an awful lot of those around country roads in England and Ireland!

I think there are harder problems for them, like negotiating roads covered in fresh snowfall without tire tracks of previous cars to guide you. Sometimes I'm not sure where exactly the road is in such a situation, so I don't see how the car could tell unless/until it has GPS accurate to within a foot or so. Road construction where there are detours that confuse even people would surely confuse cars. Those the problems I'm worried about. Following a narrow road or driving in reverse are very simple things for software. They won't be one of the corner cases that will give the cars fits to get that last 2-3% of driving situations covered.

DougS Silver badge

Vibration/haptic has already been done

And without tech. Around here many of the highways have rumble strips on both shoulders, as well as the middle for two lane divided highways. Whenever they resurface/repave one of them they're adding this. I assume it is pretty cheap to do, just use a roller that isn't smooth in the appropriate places.

It is readily apparent if you leave your lane - you can tell with your ears, with your hands on the steering wheel, and with the seat of your pants.

Kill animals and destroy property before hurting humans, Germany tells future self-driving cars

DougS Silver badge

Traffic light failure

When they fail they flash red in all directions, it is hardwired into them. If the power is lost and the battery backup is exhausted they'll be off, that's really the only potentially dangerous time (i.e. if you don't see them / don't know they're there and think you have the right of way) Cars would be programmed with maps that know where the traffic lights are, so if they can't "see" the lights they would know something is up and could stop and "look both ways" before proceeding. They'd likely handle that particular situation better than some people.

DougS Silver badge

Black boxes

I'd be very shocked if this isn't a requirement, and even if it isn't I expect that every vendor of autonomous cars would install it anyway because they'd want to make sure their product doesn't get blamed for something that was someone else's fault.

My point above about prioritizing people who are "where they're supposed to be" wasn't intended to say "people don't belong on the roads". If in a given locale it is legal to walk in the road then the car will need to take that into account as that person is "where they're supposed to be". It all depends on the laws/customs where the car is - just like traffic laws, speed limits, etc. are different in different places. The reason I brought it up was to suggest it doesn't have to be complicated - you don't need the car to make moral decisions about killing three people in the car versus one person walking alongside the road. If they are where they're supposed to be, the car isn't allowed to go there and run over him to save the three people in the car. Simple.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Who

Like I've said before, I think autonomous cars should give priority to people who are "where they're supposed to be". So if there's a pedestrian on the sidewalk, the car should not be permitted to deliberately leave the road and kill them to avoid a worse accident. But if a person is in the road not in a crosswalk, the car may plow them over if there no other alternative (i.e. cars in the oncoming lane, pedestrians on sidewalks to either side) OK not "plow them over", it'll try to stop, but if it can't that's on the pedestrian for being where he shouldn't be.

Nasty firmware update butchers Samsung smart TVs so bad, they have to be repaired

DougS Silver badge

The bigger problem is that unless you live in or near a REALLY big city, there are no service centers anywhere near you, at least in the US. I kept putting in zip codes further and further away, and as far as I can tell the nearest one is about 250 miles away. And I don't live in a particularly rural area, I imagine further west you might have to 500+ miles.

That's completely unacceptable for something that is 100% their fuckup.

El Reg gets schooled on why SSDs will NOT kill off the trusty hard drive

DougS Silver badge

Wrong about shale

A couple years ago some of the major shale players said most of their fields are profitable even with oil as low as $30-$40/bbl. Tar sands will always be high cost because of the amount of material that must be moved and the fact there are some steps requiring high temperatures even before it can enter a pipeline - and even then it is very heavy and much more expensive to refine.

The Saudis thought they could strangle US shale oil because originally it was being produced at $70/bbl, but they underestimated the ability for producers to become more efficient in their methods - both in identifying fields and extracting the oil and gas when found. The Chinese growth in oil consumption also slowed down considerably around the same time.

AccuWeather: Our app slurped your phone's location via Wi-Fi but we like totally didn't use it

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why the OS can't enforce user selections?

If permissions in iOS were an afterthought, why did iOS allow you to set permissions years before Android did?

Android has had similar permissions fails, so trying to use 'alternative facts' to claim this is a problem that can't affect Android is ridiculous.

Seems most likely that iOS engineers simply didn't consider BSSIDs something covered by permissions, or they were covered by something else like a permission to access the network. No one would have ever considered their use as a location specifier if Google hadn't decided to surreptitiously wardrive the whole world.

DougS Silver badge

Rolling BSSID

That would be pretty simple to implement in DD-WRT / OpenWRT...

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why the OS can't enforce user selections?

Should be a pretty simple 'if' statement at the beginning of any API that requires user permission. Maybe they missed this one, or they didn't think about the fact that router names / BSSIDs could theoretically be used to infer location.

I'm not really worried about that, since while Google's wardriving captured the location of SSIDs all over until they were caught, AFAIK they never made that information public. I'm more concerned that Accuweather is grabbing information to forward to their advertisers, which is presumably intended to try to uniquely identify them.

I dropped the Weather Channel app a couple years ago when they discontinued the ad-free 'Max' version so you had to see the ads, since Accuweather didn't have ads. A couple weeks ago they put in ads, and have a pay option to get rid of them I haven't taken advantage of yet. Maybe now I never will, and will look for a different weather app that doesn't try to slurp information in violation of Apple's rules, and either has no ads or provides a way to pay to remove them.

Mozilla ponders making telemetry opt-out, 'cos hardly anyone opted in

DougS Silver badge

Re: NO!

Typical Reg reader != typical user. The reason so few have opted in is because few know the options exist, what they're for, or change much of anything from its default. That's true with everything software related.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I think that's a good idea

There's a difference between slurping to sell the data to advertisers like Google and more recently Microsoft, and slurping for the sole purpose of making the browser better. i.e. if they know the most visited sites of Firefox users are, they can include them in their testing to make sure they render correctly. If they get lists of sites that take more than 'x' CPU seconds to render or cause the browser's memory usage to grow by more than 'y' MB, they can have their devs visit them to figure out what is going on.

Nothing requires saving individual data beyond the moment it is sent to Mozilla HQ to add to the totals from everyone else. Now if you want to argue "once you are sending them the data they could decide to use it for other purposes" in violation of the promise they make when collecting it well you can make that argument about anyone. How do you know Google won't send a copy of all the sites you visit in Chrome directly to the NSA and another copy to Vladimir Putin? How do you know Microsoft won't save your banking info when you type it in your browser so they can start charging you $10/month for Windows to increase their profits? You can make up whatever "what if" scenarios you want once you decide to play that game.

I mean, if you don't trust Mozilla, how do you know they aren't slurping your data NOW, even if you haven't opted in? Do you regularly do packet captures to check? If you're that paranoid about what Mozilla "might do" and don't regularly do packet captures on your network to verify nothing that isn't supposed to be sending data home is doing so, you are either far too paranoid or not nearly paranoid enough...there's no acceptable middle ground :)

DougS Silver badge

I think that's a good idea

Mozilla isn't a for-profit corporation so they don't have the incentive to 'cheat' others collecting data might. I think if they made it clear when you first ran it that it was defaulting to data collection used for improvement only and not advertising, and let you uncheck a default checked box they'd get at least half the userbase submitting data. Most people just click 'ok' or 'next' through stuff like that and don't worry about it.

This is basically what Windows 10 does, and despite their being far more evil and using the info for profit, I'll bet most Windows 10 users have "willingly" agreed to let Microsoft slurp their data by not unselecting the various telemetry options you get during install.

Microsoft, Apple cough up millioins after Australian tax audits

DougS Silver badge

They are using a different meaning of "competitive"

They are talking about competing with other stocks for investor's money to keep their share price up so stock options don't expire worthless.

Making less profit but still being wildly profitable doesn't make it any easier for competition in search/advertising to arise. But if it makes hedge funds sell their Google stock and the value falls, then executives and other employees compensated by stock options won't have the golden handcuffs keeping them at Google because they have millions coming when those options vest.

You have to use your MBA[*] to English dictionary to uncover the meaning here.

[*] Yes, I admit I have an MBA, but I don't use it for evil (i.e. not for work - these days it only serves to add letters to my resume and let me post explanations like this that wouldn't occur to the non-MBA techies who populate El Reg)

Uh oh, scientists know how those diamonds got in Uranus, and they're telling everyone!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Holocene Extinction coated with nano-diamonds !

That article is a bit hyperbolic. That hailstone is almost the width of a bowling ball, but it is hardly spherical. A bowling ball's volume is 5447 cm^3, meaning it would weigh about 11 pounds if it was made of ice. That's a far cry from that hailstone, or the record of ~1.5 pounds.

Want a medal? Microsoft 7.2% less bad at speech recognition than IBM

DougS Silver badge

Re: It isn't just machines that have trouble

Only if the notes are taken by a different person each time, and who isn't involved in any of the work. Otherwise there's no reason why a person should make that error if project athena is discussed at previous meetings, presentations are given in the meeting that mention it, etc.

DougS Silver badge

It isn't just machines that have trouble

You don't need 100% accuracy, but you need 100% accuracy in the right places. My iPhone does voicemail to text, and even though it isn't always 100% I generally don't have to listen to the message because a 95% accurate (or whatever) transcription is good enough.

For meeting notes you'd want near perfect accuracy, especially if you want it searchable. If I'm looking for the meeting where we discussed the outcome of "project athena", but its name was transcribed as "project tina" in a meeting we were informed it was canceled then I'm not going to be able to get that critical information via search. Whereas if I was reading the meeting notes or received notice of the cancellation via voicemail I could easily infer what "project tina" really was.

US Navy suffers third ship collision this year

DougS Silver badge

Re: Low tech method of attacking the US Navy

Even if someone hacked the steering of a civilian ship, there's no way an oil tanker should be able to ram a Navy ship that's faster and far more maneuverable. If they're that easy to ram, they aren't going be of much use in a real war if all you need to do is keep sending old rusty ships at them until they run out of torpedoes.

DougS Silver badge

Low tech method of attacking the US Navy

Don't bother with cruise missiles or torpedoes when you can simply ram them with any old container ship or oil tanker. Surely the Navy needs to get on top of this if for no other reason than terrorists could theoretically stow away on board such a ship, commandeer it, and use it to try to ram Navy ships, kill a few sailors, and put a multi-billion dollar piece of equipment out of commission for a year.

Talk about one hell of a dandy ISIS recruitment video...

Headless body found near topless beach: Missing private sub journalist identified

DougS Silver badge

Re: Making light of tragedy

It was a nod to a famous headline from the New York Post "headless body in topless bar".

Fujitsu looking to flog its smartphones biz – report

DougS Silver badge

While I agree that forum whiners rarely put their money where their mouth is, it was news to me and probably a lot of others that Fujitsu was even in the smartphone business. If you don't know a product exists, it is difficult to know it fits your needs let alone purchase it.

Sofa-jockeys given crack at virtual Formula 1 world championship

DougS Silver badge

"If something can be done by proxy"...

So basically any activity that can be outsourced to another country is a game, anything that has to be played in person is a sport?

That's actually the best definition I've heard. At least that's a lot better than definitions suggesting that sports have sweat potentially involved, or require some level of physical fitness.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019