* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Death to strap-ons, says Intel, yet thrusts its little AI stick into us all

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Chasing fads without a strategy

Having failed in smartwatches, I look forward to watching them fail in augmented reality and machine learning next.

Apple's 'KGB level of secrecy' harms its AI projects – but don't worry, it's started a blog

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Re: TBH the best AI is the stuff you don't see.

Yeah, the "Turing test" for an AI acting as customer support is that you can't tell if you are talking to a machine or a human.

Perhaps that's why they outsourced and scripted call centers. Make them harder to understand, harder for them to understand us, and less able to understand problems beyond the dozen or so ones they are trained to handle. Lowers the bar quite a bit for IVR systems to eventually replace CSRs completely.

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Re: Of Buffer OverLodes ...... and Fanciful China Syndrome Meltdowns* in Surreal Life Events

Apple should hire whoever wrote the amanfromMars 1 AI. Considering how long it has been around, surely that guy has advanced his abilities significantly and the only recognition he wants is to let his AI loose on a few obscure internet forums!

Breathless F-35 pilots to get oxygen boost via algorithm tweak

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Re: I'd have to ask...

My handwriting (printed or especially cursive) is so bad I can't help but think hypoxia might improve it!

No one still thinks iOS is invulnerable to malware, right? Well, knock it off

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Re: The notion that iOS devices are immune to malicious code

The only ones who claim there's a notion iOS is immune to malware are security companies that just happen to sell malware defenses for iOS.

Pretty much everyone would agree malware is a bigger problem on Android than iOS, but I don't know anyone who has purchased anti-malware software for Android. Running Windows without AV software has been asking for trouble for a long time, but since it isn't a must-have on Android it is damn hard to argue that it is needed on iOS except as a way to keep companies like Skycure afloat.

DougS Silver badge

Re: iOS more popular?

The iOS share of "mobile phone sales" has increased since 2012. The iOS share of "smartphone sales" has decreased, because ever cheaper smartphones replace all but the very cheapest feature phones in the market. Apple isn't selling phones for under $100, so all that smartphone growth on the bottom end has gone to Android, decreasing Apple's share of smartphones sold.

Much of that growth hasn't even gone to Google, however, since at least in China almost all low end Android phones have Google's stuff removed and replaced by Baidu, WeChat and so forth. It would be interesting if it was possible to see a market breakdown between iPhone, Android+Google and Android w/o Google.

Apple hurls out patches for dozens of security holes in iOS, macOS

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@AC - beta test program "next iOS version on older hardware"

Umm, isn't that going to leave you on a beta version forever, when the official iOS 11.0 doesn't support your phone? If you stick with iOS 10.3.3 Apple will still issue an update for it if there's a major security issue (they do it rarely, but they have done it before) but if you have on iOS 11.0 beta you're SOL.

Plus don't the beta versions have debugging code added, making them run slower than release versions?

Tapping the Bank of Mum and Dad: Why your Netflix subscription is poised to rise (again)

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There's no way Uber and Netflix can become monopolies

I already wrote about Uber in a post above. Netflix is even less able to become a monopoly, because they already have plenty of streaming competition today, and more is on the horizon.

For what you get, Netflix's price is really good - but that's because they are losing billions every year to subsidize your low price. If they tried to rise their prices enough to break even, they wouldn't be such a good deal anymore and more people would choose Amazon, Google, Apple, etc. streaming alternatives. The exclusive titles help, but it isn't like those others don't have money to develop their own exclusives if they wish. Or outbid Netflix for other content like first run movies making Netflix basically have nothing worthwhile beyond their exclusive content.

DougS Silver badge

Uber is easily replaceable

Its an app that connects riders and drivers. Anyone competent to write apps could write it. There's no way for Uber to prevent either riders or drivers from using someone else's app, and if enough competition comes along someone may create an app that checks the pricing for Uber, Lyft and any regional/local competition to give you the best price.

The main reason Uber has all the mindshare and marketshare is because they are cheaper than the competition, where today "competition" = taxi. Once they've killed off taxis, they can't just rise prices to a profitable level, because the competition will prevent that. They hope to make more money someday by having self driving cars so they don't need to pay the riders, but it isn't like Uber will be the only one who has self driving cars when they arrive so again they won't have the monopolistic pricing power they'd need to justify their current valuation.

Don't let this snap-drag-on: Qualcomm waves white flag to Apple

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Re: If they settle with Apple

It is a little harder for Qualcomm's other customers to sue, because they use Qualcomm for both cellular and application processor, and don't have a CPU patent portfolio of their own (Samsung will, but not any of the other Android OEMs) to countersue them.

I expect if Apple is successful, Samsung may follow suit, but I'm not sure the other Android OEMs would. Too risky for them. If it was such a great idea, they would have all done it before Apple. But the fact that even Apple feared suing Qualcomm until they began executing their plan to get away from them speaks volumes.

DougS Silver badge

Re: If they settle with Apple

Then it would be up to the others to sue, or the FTC bring action on their behalf, over Qualcomm violating the "non-discriminatory" requirements of FRAND licensing.

Clearly it would be safe to assume that if Apple sues Qualcomm, then settles out of court and drops the suit, that they'd only do that if they were getting a better deal than they were previously.

DougS Silver badge

Hardly 'waving the white flag'

To suggest that most such battles are resolved out of court, since that's true. If Qualcomm dropped their countersuit, that would be waving the white flag.

Let's harden Internet crypto so quantum computers can't crack it

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Re: @DougS Not just to protect stored communications

How can you decrypt and re-encrypt over time if you aren't updating the system that uses the old encryption? My whole point about designing it for 2028 is "what happens if in 2028 you are still using something you bought in 2018 and has not been updated for a long time or maybe never".

You'd rather be using encryption that is still secure (or has the best odds of still being secure) in 2028, than something that is fine for classical computers but will be broken by quantum computers.

DougS Silver badge

Not just to protect stored communications

It takes a long time for software to be updated, especially in embedded devices. Some may never be updated. How much stuff out there is still using vulnerable OpenSSL implementations, for example? If you want systems designed in 2018 to be safe when they're still running in 2028, you need to protect against the capabilities your adversaries may have in 2028.

Disneyland to become wretched hive of scum and villainy

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Re: Disneyworld is a hive of scum and villany

Since they aren't located in Orlando but outside of it in the county, why should they pay taxes to them? If the state decides to give a business a tax break to locate there, that's their business.

While that's abused too often, if Disneyworld would have located in say Georgia or South Carolina instead of Florida had they not got the tax break, I think it is worked out pretty well for both the local communities (who have tons of tourist income and employment) and the state (lots of tourists coming and paying sales tax, plus the taxes paid by the Disney employees)

DougS Silver badge

Re: A wretched hive of scum & Villainy?

That's a wretched hive of treason and villainy. Totally different.

Factories counter-punch Qualcomm in the gut as Apple eggs them on

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Re: The key is this:-

The FTC doesn't care about precedent set in other countries, because the laws aren't the same. Even if the FTC decides to bring a case, they take years to make it through our courts - antitrust cases take even longer than patent cases. Even if Apple/Qualcomm's cases go to court, they'll be long decided and Apple will have long dropped Qualcomm's cellular chips in favor of Intel's by the time any FTC punishment comes to pass.

The writing is already on the wall for Qualcomm. CDMA allowed them a strangehold on the industry for years, but now that it is being phased out in favor of LTE where Qualcomm's IP position is much less strong. They will shrink even if no one challenged them in court. If they see a likelihood of getting hit with huge multi billion dollar fines, they can just leverage up the debt, pass every penny they can to shareholders via dividends or buybacks (and executive bonuses, natch) and leave nothing for the vultures. Apple is smart to move early so they can get their $1 billion back, those who wait may find nothing left by the time the cases make it through court.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why would you license Processor IP ?

You license it because the USPTO issues overly broad patents that make it impossible to design a modern CPU without infringing on some of those broad patents held by others. Qualcomm probably doesn't actually hold many such patents compared to Intel, IBM, Sun/Oracle, HP, AMD, and yes, even Apple, but it only needs one to sue.

There's the thing, if Qualcomm can find some processor patents Apple is infringing on, the reverse is true, and Apple almost certainly has more such patents. However, Qualcomm may have an advantage there since of late they have backed away from designing custom cores towards using ARM cores. Apple's license with ARM may forbid them from suing other ARM licensees over Apple patents used in ARM designed cores like the A72.

Watson AI panned, 5¼ years of sales decline ... Does IBM now stand for Inferior Biz Model?

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Not sure comparing job postings is that accurate

If you want top level AI talent (or top level talent in any field) you don't post a want ad. You have headhunters go after specific people and create a position to fit them.

Maybe it is just what the tech press wants to write about, but you hear about Apple or Amazon hiring some top AI person, but you never seem to read about IBM doing it. Though maybe they are, and it just doesn't make the news.

SQL Server 2017's first rc lands and – yes! – it runs on Linux

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How's the performance?

Curious if that compatibility layer has much effect, versus running it on Windows on the same hardware?

Guess who's here to tell us we're all totally wrong about net neutrality? Of course, it's Comcast

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Funny how Comcast invested billions despite net neutrality

They're in the middle of a program of upgrading their plant nationwide to support DOCSIS 3 with end user speeds up to 1 gigabit. They didn't start on this after Trump was elected, but two years ago (right about the time the FCC made net neutrality the law of the land)

AT&T claims that net neutrality didn't make a difference in their investment, so even if you believe Comcast then if you also believe AT&T you have to accept that this claim isn't something that can be assumed to be true, like Pai does. Some claim AT&T is only saying that because they're waiting for approval of their purchase of Time Warner, but speaking up for net neutrality is hardly the way to curry favor with a republican administration.

I still think Title II was a stupid way to do this, but congressional inaction allowed no other way. Now that republicans control the congress and white house they have no excuse not to pass legislation to modernize telecommunications law. Oh wait, I forgot they're so incompetent they can't even pass something they've been promising voters since 2010, so I guess we shouldn't expect much on this front.

Vendors rush to call everything AI even if it isn't, or doesn't help

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Re: We are heading toward

AlphaGo was first programmed with basic knowledge of Go, it played itself to improve but it didn't start from a blank slate.

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Re: Hare says users are already seeing through the hype and just not buying AI

He's so different from the regular Gartner analysts it makes me wonder if he's an AI!

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Re: We are heading toward

So ML systems are more advanced than the expert systems of the 90s? It would be sad if that wasn't the case!

Still doesn't mean today's ML systems are AI. They are not, not even close. We have a bunch of idiot savant programs that can handle things they're taught to do (chess, Go, speech recognition, etc.) but display not even the tiniest bit of general intelligence. When a Go program can play chess by being told the rules of the game and watching people play, or a speech recognition program can learn to recognize handwriting on its own without being explicitly programmed for the task, then I'll be impressed.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wow

To be fair, many of us were calling them wrong when they kept saying PC sales would rebound after they first dipped in 2011. They got that wrong for years, so if they've learned to take commentards thoughts into account before publishing that's new! :)

Android-ocalypse postponed: Jide withdraws Remix OS from consumer frontline

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Grants tied to specific suppliers?

These grants wouldn't be from Google, would they? Surely getting personal information from the kiddies wouldn't be the plan of a company with the motto "do not evil"?!

The curious case of a Tesla smash, Autopilot blamed, and the driver's next-day U-turn

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Landing on same 10 foot section of tarmac

You'd think airports would like that, as it would make maintenance easier. Sure, they have to replace that section more often, but replacing one small section only takes a runway out of service for a couple days.

Besides, couldn't they adjust where that 10 foot section was to even out the wear if they wanted, by changing the ILS markers?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hmm

Blaming the autopilot would be pointless, since it isn't an "autopilot" and isn't supposed to be used that way. He'd be ticketed as at fault regardless. Tesla however has billions of reasons to cover it up if autopilot messed up.

Seems a mite suspicious to me how he changed his tune later. Since any analysis of the data from the car would be conducted by Tesla, that's not exactly an impartial witness. We'll never know the truth, since there's no way to verify either the driver's or Tesla's account.

Security robot falls into pond after failing to spot stairs or water

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@macjules - finally an explanation for Trump

He's the descendant of telephone sanitizers!

Thanks for U-turning on biz-killing ban, Ofcom – now cough up, say GSM gateway bods

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He and his wife both went bankrupt?

The business couldn't have been that successful if they were running it for 14 years, and the loss of it meant immediately bankruptcy. That seems highly unlikely.

US laptops-on-planes ban now applies to just one airport, ends soon

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Friend of mine had a grenade that had the explosives removed he used as a paperweight. His son was playing with it one morning while he was packing, and it ended up in his carryon.

Fortunately he was active duty National Guard at the time, and when he showed his military ID they believed him when he explained it must have been his son. But he still lost out - they kept it!

Facebook users pwnd by phone with account recovery vulnerability

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Why do you find that incredible? They aren't protecting health or banking info, they're protecting a bunch of vacation pictures and 10 year old posts from three girlfriends ago. It is more important to have it be easy to use than to be secure. They offer multiple methods of 2FA for those who are concerned about security.

Burglary in mind? Easy, just pwn the home alarm

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That implies targeted burglary

What percentage of burglaries are targeted - going after a particular address, rather than a crime of opportunity? From what I can tell around here, almost all fall into the latter category. Most burglaries are in the poorer cities / poorer parts of cities, often just going in houses that didn't even have the door locked.

If they were targeting they'd go into the nice neighborhoods where the chance of getting really good loot is higher, cut the phone/cable lines, and use a cellular jammer off eBay (in case the alarm uses cellular) Less than 1% of burglars are smart enough to do that, and they'd have to be even smarter to hack an alarm system.

Multi-gig broadband spec passes interop test at Verizon

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Re: ATM reincarnated

And what is it you think is missing that they'll be wanting? They're designing a protocol, not a piece of hardware. The features for consumers go in the hardware.

Of course, without an option for consumers to own their own box, they don't get features they want in it. That's why you use such telco provided boxes as a bridge only, and use a router with DD-WRT or OpenWRT if you want to control the feature set and be in charge of your own security.

Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

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Re: Bitcoin is bound to collapse in value prior to this date

That makes sense - you have a bunch of sailors coming ashore who have a month or two worth of paychecks ready to spend. First thing they will do is exchange some dollars. If I owned a currency exchange within a mile of the port I'd damn sure adjust my exchange rates before they came in.

I imagine the local 'entertainment' adjusted their rates when the sailors came in, too. Supply and demand!

DougS Silver badge

Bitcoin is bound to collapse in value prior to this date

Anyone who has the ability to liquidate their holdings would be stupid not to do so in advance of this date, just in case. If nothing happens, no harm done and you can buy them back. If there's a permanent split you can wait on the sidelines until you see which side "wins" or choose your side if they both end up viable (though that would seem to be so confusing I can't imagine such a thing could persist for long)

I wonder if this is the reason I read about some other virtual currency shooting up in value recently? Can't remember what it was called, but it has gone up like 100x in the past few months or something like that. Maybe those with less-than-legitimate holdings have already started moving them to alternate virtual currencies to wait this out?

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Re: Ah, the joys of virtual currencies

Forking its value seems to be in the works as well.

You misspelled "fucking".

IETF moves meeting from USA to Canada to dodge Trump travel ban

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Re: Convenience?

Why would IETF care about "playing to the locals"? It is an international organization, and most of the attendees will be from outside the US. You Trump lovers really are some sensitive snowflakes, you can't handle anything that smacks of criticism of your orange idol.

Luxembourg passes first EU space mining law. One can possess the Spice

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How to pirate

You wait for one of the miners to go bankrupt before they ever make it to the mining stage, and buy their ships for pennies on the dollar.

Though really, if there are no laws against piracy in space, it wouldn't be illegal, so nothing would stop someone from forming a company called "Space Pirates, Inc." that specifically says it will launch ships to go steal someone else's loot when they try and bring it back from the asteroid belt!

The large majority of the expense of space mining would be in either developing robots that can do the mining unassisted (they can't be remote controlled from Earth due to being dozens of light minutes from Earth) or in sending men out there to do it. Compared to those costs, the cost of simply launching a ship out of Earth's gravity well is a pittance. You don't need to go to the belt to pirate, just hang out at L2 and wait for someone to send their stuff back. Your ship "grabs" theirs and redirects it from its original destination to wherever you want. You can afford to have a larger ship and a lot more fuel since you are close to Earth, and the return mission ship probably taking the 'long slow journey' to save cost, so you can always overpower the rockets on it.

DougS Silver badge

They need more than just this

There would need to be some form of laws which apply in space, otherwise what stops me from letting you do all the hard work of mining an asteroid, then coming along and simply taking what you mined? Are the laws of Luxembourg going to help you now? Thought not.

I find it hard to believe anyone is going to invest billions in this until there is some assurance they won't have their hard earned gains simply stolen from them.

Eggheads identify the last animal that will survive on Earth until the Sun dies

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Re: The power

Even if all the water on the surface is gone, there will be plenty of water remaining underground for them to live in.

Beware, sheep rustlers of the South West of England! Police drone spy unit gets to work

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Re: Bah!

That justifies arming the drones, and marking up the price 100x. Good show!


Charles Woodburn

CEO, BAE Systems

Truck spills slimy load all over Oregon road – drivers slip in eel slick

DougS Silver badge

Everyone who understood the first comment, read the second one in the voice of Teal'c.

Let's go to work: How bots took over business

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Re: I feel left out

For a second I thought you might be referring to amanfromMars1, until you said the comments seemed very erudite!

Sleuths unearth 'Panic Mode' in Android, set off by mashing back button

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Re: Wait, there's no way to kill the foreground app in Android?

I meant to say "there's no way to kill a misbehaving foreground app in Android?" Obviously you can kill the foreground app, but if it locks up, it sounds like there can be problems being able to kill it. Is that the case or not? Not trying to start an Android vs iPhone war, just curious as a non-Android user if this "panic mode" the article refers to is something actually needed or superfluous?

Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

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Einstein says you're wrong.

Man facing $17.5m HPE fraud case has contempt sentence cut by Court of Appeal

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Zeno's paradox

He was referring to Zeno's Paradox, but Zeno was overruled by Leibniz.

Top tip for all you insider traders: Don't Google 'insider trading' from your work PC

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Re: Idiot

Still would have been caught. The SEC had already figured out he committed the crime because buying a stock before an acquisition drives up its price once is luck, twice is really amazing luck that borders on ridiculous, three or more times is obviously a crime. They already had enough on him to get a warrant to get info from his work, what they got just took away the "I'm a really really really really lucky day trader" defense.

If he wanted to avoid detection for every company he bought knowing it would shoot up in value he should have bought ten that didn't, sold one that was going to shoot up too early, etc. to induce some noise into the system. Though I'm not sure if that would have enough but at least it wouldn't have been so bleedin' obvious!

The other problem with his scheme was getting all his information from his wife. The SEC could probably easily determine that the same law firm was involved in all the purchases, and then zero in on his wife, then easily connect him and his mother. He'd need information coming from multiple sources - deals from multiple law firms, to make it harder to trace back. You know, like how the hedge fund guys do it (we all know some of them have to be doing this, but it is lost in the noise of their other trades so it pads their profits rather than being solely responsible for them)

All your bass are belong to us: Soundcloud fans raid site for music amid fears of total collapse

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"Fully funded into the fourth quarter"

Is not all that much different than "less than 50 days of cash" when you're already half a month into the third quarter...

Dear racist Airbnb host, we've enrolled you in an Asian American studies course

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There's a small segment of Trump supporters

Who think that "Trump won" excuses all sorts of uncivil behavior, or worse. Of course 99% of them were acting like that before he won, and will continue to act like that after he's gone...

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