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* Posts by DougS

11383 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

So, about that Google tax on Android makers in the EU – report pegs it at up to $40 per phone

DougS
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Re: Somehow I think the EU is going to reject this "remedy"

If I used Android, I'd pay be willing to pay the full $40 - hell three times that - for a guaranteed slurp free experience. A mere $10 difference would be a huge bargain!

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DougS
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Somehow I think the EU is going to reject this "remedy"

At least when Microsoft said "OK, we will offer a version of Windows without the stuff you have a problem with" they did it at the same price. Google wanting to go from free to $40 is not likely to fly...

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DougS
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They use dpi as a proxy for price

Rather than up front saying "we want OEMs selling more expensive phones to pay us more for the same thing" they've linked it to dpi. Same thing, but doesn't sound quite as shady.

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Forgotten that Chinese spy chip story? We haven't – it's still wrong, Super Micro tells SEC

DougS
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Re: Conspiracy theory?

Yes I wasn't suggesting that if the story is untrue Bloomberg knew about it. It would take some fairly sophisticated people to fool the writers and editors at Bloomberg. Not saying it would take a nation state, but definitely more than a 400 lb guy sitting on a bed somewhere.

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DougS
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Re: Conspiracy theory?

There are far less public ways to knock down the stock price of a target. Much better to start rumors of some type of earnings restatement being required, rather than weave a story that includes both the FBI and the two largest publicly traded companies in the world. There's no way any trading to take advantage of the stock price fall (or subsequent rise if/when the story is retracted) would not be looked at very closely by the SEC given this has received so much publicity.

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Stealthy UK startup drops veil on next frontier of speech wizardry

DougS
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Re: don't tell

If Amazon or Google had the speech to text working locally they'd just send the text instead of the speech to the cloud. They're going to collect your info and advertise to you no matter what, that's their whole purpose for existing.

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Brit smart meter biz blamed Apple's iPhone 7 launch for its late taxes

DougS
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How much space could Apple possibly book?

iPhones come in pretty small boxes, surely a single cargo plane can carry more iPhones than the UK will buy during launch week?

If someone works out the math, I smell the birth of a new Reg unit of measurement...

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Cops called after pair enter Canadian home and give it a good clean

DougS
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Re: Canadian door locks....

I live in a college town, and if you look at the police reports every few weeks there's an instance of a drunken guy or girl walking into the wrong house, or residents of said house waking up to find some rando who smells like a brewery snoring on their couch.

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DougS
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Re: No problem leaving the door open here in Austria ...

That's because every house in Australia is home to multiple species of deadly spiders hiding in every dark corner, which are far stealthier and scarier than a dog of any size! So just put your valuables in said dark corner and thieves will only be able to steal your TV.

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London flatmate (Julian Assange) sues landlord (government of Ecuador) in human rights spat

DougS
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@streaky

it's reasonable to assume the US thinks they might be able to prove he knowingly engaged in espionage against the US on behalf of a foreign power

That depends on whether Assange 1) was making the high level decisions for Wikileaks during that time and 2) Wikileaks had all the leaked emails in their possession at once, and dribbled them out based on when someone else told them to.

If the emails were held by the Russians and dribbled out to Wikipedia according to a timetable advantageous for the Trump campaign (and they were, again and again new leaks occurred when there was bad news about Trump they wanted to distract from) then Wikileaks can say "we were just following our policy of releasing whatever we get as soon as we get it". At worst they could be accused of being a knowing and willing dupe, but not part of the conspiracy.

However, the allegations that Roger Stone was in communication with Wikileaks will mean that's a hard claim to make. Probably impossible to make, once he's indicted and he inevitably cooperates to reduce his sentence. So if Assange had any involvement with the timing of the Hillary email leaks, he should want to leave the embassy sooner rather than later. Though either way, the charges he'd face would have him serve MUCH less time than what he's already decided to serve on his own.

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DougS
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Re: Is the apt saying here...

Judging from Eucador's complaints about his lack of personal hygiene and lack of proper care for his cat, maybe he already was.

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DougS
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I agree that having someone releasing documents to shed some light on dirty dealings is a good thing, but only if it is done when free from an agenda. Maybe Wikileaks was free from agenda at first, but that ship sailed years ago.

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DougS
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Re: Lets Get Real

I'm sure the US could come up with charges for which there is no statute of limitations, but I think he likes playing the victim for attention and the worst thing that could happen to him is that he gets released and no one cares enough to extradite him anywhere. Then all his claims that he had to hide out to avoid unfair prosecution simply evaporate and he looks like the pathetic fool he is.

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DougS
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I really hope he gets the boot

And the UK arrests him and does whatever they plan to do, and then...nothing. That the US just doesn't give a damn about the self-important little twat, he doesn't get extradited to either Sweden or the US, and he has to find some other reason to play the victim.

That's probably what he really fears, is that the world has moved on and no one gives a shit about him.

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Peter Thiel's Palantir reportedly eyeing up $41bn IPO

DougS
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Re: What could possibly go wrong?

Well Thiel is too rich to go bankrupt, so instead we can hope he's one of the first passengers for commercial travel to the Moon when one of them inevitably suffers a liftoff "incident". Bonus points if its a bro party with Kalanick and Levandowski.

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DougS
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Re: Pump and dump scam

This is why I'm glad I don't rely on funds managed by others. I have ultra low expense index funds, and a handful of really strong individual stocks. I suppose I will own some overvalued Uber or Palatir eventually, but not much as their impact on the S&P 500 etc. will be pretty minor. I don't have to worry about some fund manager getting bribed by Thiel to buy up billions and have it compromise a significant chunk of my retirement!

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European Commission: We've called off the lawyers over Ireland's late collection of Apple back taxes

DougS
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@ !Sparctacus - your conclusion is wrong

The US corporate tax law was changed late last year, so the US no longer taxes overseas profit at all, which was already the case for every other country (except one or two tiny ones, IIRC)

But you are totally 100% utterly wrong in your conclusion that it was the US handling of overseas taxes that led to Apple seeking such a deal with Ireland, and pretty much every other major US company using similar schemes to dodge UK or EU taxes to whatever extent possible.

The tax law change that removes what you point to doesn't eliminate any incentive for US companies to try to avoid taxes in other countries. Indeed, it makes it even MORE worthwhile to attempt to avoid foreign taxes, as previously the best you could hope for was piling the money up and eventually getting to bring it home at a reduced rate if you waited long enough and got a compliant administration willing to do another repatriation holiday like Bush II did. Now you can bring it home at the ultimate reduced rate - 0% - and bring it home immediately to be turned into dividends/buybacks so every dollar of avoided/minimized foreign tax is even more valuable.

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FYI: Drone maker DJI's 'Get it on Google Play' website button definitely does not get the app from Google Play...

DougS
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Re: That's actually a good feature

Why do you have an Android phone if you don't want a Google account?

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DougS
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IIRC it will only whine once

And everyone has already disabled that to install Fortnite.

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DougS
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Think of it this way

Which do you think is more likely to have their website hacked and have a compromised binary substituted, Google Play or a toy manufacturer?

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From dank memes to Krispy Kremes: British uni eggheads claim viral lol pics make kids fat

DougS
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Memes are biased towards obesity?

So people's minds are changed by them? I guess the solution is fewer memes about skipping the gym to drink wine, and more about hobbling up stairs after leg day?

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Microsoft points to a golden future where you can make Windows 10 your own

DougS
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Re: Oh, CALCULATOR!

Does it actually work in Windows 10, unlike the terrible implementation in Windows 7? You will more than double the size of a Windows 7 install these days due to all the patches that are added, and NOT cleaned up by the system tools that claim to do so.

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DougS
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WTF?

Oh, CALCULATOR!

I'm sure they've been fielding complaints by the millions from people who want to remove that! :/

I'd like to be able to remove all the data slurping stuff - unless they make Windows 10 free they shouldn't try to double dip by also slurping your data.

I'd also like to be able to properly clean up after patching. Why does the OS grow and grow in size from giving you the ability to roll back? There should be some way to 'commit' OS changes so that after you feel comfortable that the latest patches haven't broken something you can eliminate the ability to roll back and save some space.

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Apple to dump Intel CPUs from Macs for Arm – yup, the rumor that just won't die is back

DougS
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"select x86_64 and arm64"

Anyone who sells an application without properly testing it on new platform deserves all the scorn heaped upon them by unhappy users. It might be bug free if you are lucky (and if Apple's ports of the libraries your application uses are perfect and don't introduce new architecture specific issues) but only someone for whom software development is a hobby would ever suggest such a thing as a solution.

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DougS
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You're ignoring Windows

A fairly decent share of Macs are used to run Windows, at least occasionally. So there will absolutely need to be dynamic translation to handle that. And while new Mac applications can use fat binaries, not everyone has the luxury of having 100% of their applications still being supported by the vendor. There HAS to be emulation to handle that case. Not sure why there is argument over this - dynamic translation is a solved problem, and Apple has already done it twice. Doing it again in 2020 is not a difficult task at all.

Fortunately going from an architecture with fewer registers to one with more registers a lot easier/faster to emulate than the other way around. Even better, Microsoft is supposedly supporting ARM Windows that does its own translation from x64 to ARM64, if so (i.e. if they still are in 2020, which isn't a sure thing given Microsoft's spotty history in supporting non-x86 Windows) then it shouldn't be too much of a problem since Apple's translation only needs to worry about MacOS.

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Chinese biz baron wants to shove his artificial moon where the sun doesn't shine – literally

DougS
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Re: Eight times brighter than the Moon?

Some Random Guy (tm) on slashdot did some calculations, and he figured it would take a perfect mirror (100% reflective) 2500 m^2 to equal the full moon over an 800 km^2 area. Assuming his calculations were correct, or close to it, if you want to be eight times as bright and account for the mirror being less than perfect, you're talking more like 25000 m^2.

Since the mirror would need to track to maintain the spot during the night, that's a LOT of mass to be moved (even assuming you using some sort of fabric with flimsy support structure behind it) given the size required. Maybe you can get the rotation of the satellite just right so it tracks as desired, but geosynchronous orbits are not stable, they need station keeping to maintain. Every time you fire the thrusters to tweak your orbit, you would destabilize the rotation - and if you can't find that 'just right' rotation you'll be using thrusters to move the mirror, meaning the satellite would have a pretty short life before it runs out of fuel.

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DougS
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Re: Eight times brighter than the Moon?

Yes, the Moon reflects most of the light away, and has a poor albedo, but it is many orders of magnitude larger than this satellite will be.

I don't buy the 8 times brighter just because an article says so. I want to see the math. I found something that says the sun is 400,000 brighter than the moon. So if you assume this is eight times brighter than the moon then it must be 1/50,000th as bright as the sun. So you'd have to reflect light equal to 1/50,000th of the sun onto this city sized area. I don't know how to calculate the size of the mirror that would require, but that's a huge damn mirror. It isn't going to be some "simple" 50 meter x 50 meter unfolding mirror like the solar panels on a communications satellite.

Besides, I'm not sure 8 times brighter is going to eliminate the need for streetlights. They are a hell of a lot brighter than 8 times as bright as the full moon...

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DougS
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Eight times brighter than the Moon?

Over its far smaller apparent size compared to the Moon, I assume? I don't see how this could possibly light things up enough that you wouldn't want street lights. It isn't as if street lights turn off when there's a full Moon, and there's no way this could come anywhere near the amount of light you get from a full Moon.

Are we sure this isn't Elon Musk in disguise? It sounds like one of his harebrained ideas.

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WD shoots out 96-layer embedded flash chips

DougS
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Minor nit, multilayer NAND uses processes in the 30-40 nm range, not 7nm. Not sure about the cost per finished wafer, you don't need multipatterning which saves some effort, but there are far more total process steps because there are several per layer.

But yes, any time you can shrink and get more devices per wafer you save money and hopefully (eventually) the savings are passed on to us in the form of more GB per dollar/pound/euro.

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SCISYS sidesteps Brexit: Proposes Irish listing to keep EU space work rolling in

DougS
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What if they require some/all the work to be performed in the EU?

IT outsourcing contracts by federal/state governments in the US almost always require all the work to be done within the US. They may not care if a company with its HQ in Europe like Atos gets the contract, but the people actually performing that work have to be inside the US. Most DoD contracts require the company to be US based AND all the work to be done inside the US.

If the EU requires the same thing for say Galileo, then technically moving your HQ inside the EU by renting a tiny office in Ireland while the bulk of your company stays in the UK and relisting on a different exchange won't help.

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Well slap my ass and call me Judy, Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 is just as hard to fix as the old one

DougS
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Re: 128GB?

I knew you could get iPhones with 512GB, I just wasn't sure if you could get Surface Pro 6 with more than 128GB. Turns out it can be ordered with up to 1 TB as I saw in a different article. Soldered to the board, to encourage you to get more while you can I guess.

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DougS
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128GB?

I assume there are higher storage versions available? It would be funny if you could buy an iPhone or Galaxy Note with more storage.

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Chrome 70 flips switch on Progressive Web Apps in Windows 10 – with janky results

DougS
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Re: Fixing a problem that no longer exists?

I kept getting asked by some sites on EVERY visit, so no it isn't a block once and you never have to again. The number of sites where I might possibly want such a notification (i.e. maybe at El Reg if someone responds to my comment) are dwarfed by the useless notifications sites will want to send (i.e. an evil El Reg could send a notification every time they post a new article)

I disable notifications for most apps on my phone, because of the level of nonsense they want to notify me about - up to and including the most annoying one possible - "you haven't used xxx in a while, we miss you". If I haven't used an app or visited a web site in a while, that's my choice, I don't need or want to get notifications so they can whine about my absence!

So yes, building on the foundation of something that's first use people are exposed to is something so highly annoying and mostly useless will result in people permanently disabling the source of the annoyance. Which will be a problem for PWA. Just like how early Javascript in pages was so slow and problematic a lot of people browsed with Javascript disabled for years - and some still use tools like Noscript to selectively control it.

And I still didn't hear anyone come up with a single reason why PWAs are better than current web apps using Javascript...and I notice you didn't, either.

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DougS
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Re: Fixing a problem that no longer exists?

Ah, service workers. Glad to know that, as I've already disabled those because I was sick of seeing all those stupid requests asking if a page could send me notifications.

PWA is off to a pretty bad start if it is building that on crappy foundation, because everyone with a clue will have already disabled what it needs to function.

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DougS
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Fixing a problem that no longer exists?

Web apps were mostly hated the first time around because they used Javascript, and between slow CPUs in mobile devices, and crappy software engines everywhere, they were sluggish and crash/hang prone.

Fast forward to 2018, and now mobile CPUs are much faster - pretty much on par with desktop CPUs in the case of the A12 - and Javascript engines in browsers are far more efficient and stable.

So why do we want to change to a totally new way to implement web apps, where we will have to make and then correct all the same security mistakes we make time and again every time the wheel is re-invented? Can anyone tell me why I should prefer PWAs over a Javascript web app?

Seems like it is one more thing I need to disable for a few years until they work out the kinks, and re-enable if/when it actually becomes a thing. After all, Google is behind it, and they axe about half the things they do a few years down the road. There's no reason to believe PWAs will survive.

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Stroppy Google runs rings round Brussels with Android remedy

DougS
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Re: Unbundling the app store would have been the right solution

I assume Samsung's app store is in addition to what is on the Google Play store, rather than having all the same apps like Facebook, etc.? If so they couldn't really drop Google because people would go from having an app store with millions of apps to one with thousands - and none of them what most people actually want.

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DougS
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Unbundling the app store would have been the right solution

Then it would be feasible for say Samsung to create their own Android flavor. Now maybe people might not want it, but there are plenty of vendors making phones so even if Samsung only sold Samdroid phones you'd have plenty of options that would still sell traditional Android with all the Googly bits. Or you could buy a Samdroid and install generic Android on it.

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LuminosityLink spyware mastermind gets 30 months in the clink, forfeits $725k in Bitcoin

DougS
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The right to bear arms is guaranteed in the constitution, the right to install remote access software is not.

Please see my post below for all the things the software is doing. Still believe he's a victim?

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DougS
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Re: "not the shooter"

If he's selling it in hacker forums, it is pretty obvious the market for which it is intended.

Here are the things it did that no legitimate remote access software would do:

1) installs without notification

2) records keys pressed without notification

3) surveillance using camera & microphone without notification

4) view and download files without notification

5) access names and passwords for websites without...you get the picture

6) mine virtual currencies

7) launch DDoS attacks against other computers

8) prevent anti-malware software from detecting or removing it

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Sure, Europe. Here's our Android suite without Search, Chrome apps. Now pay the Google tax

DougS
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Re: Just another attempt

Apple is simply not allowing that Russian chat app on their App Store. There is nothing stopping the authors from offering it on the Google Play Store for Android.

Apple doesn't have a dominant share in app stores, and no country has laws against a company being able to restrict what it offers in their own store. If I want to sell my widget on Amazon, and contact them but they say "no thank you, we already have widgets and don't need another" I can't go whining to the FTC or EU competition authority because Amazon doesn't have a dominant share in online stores - let alone stores in general when you include both online and brick-and-mortar. Though I'm sure that's their ultimate goal - if they ever achieve it then they will experience problems like those Google is enduring.

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DougS
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You're getting a device with no Chrome but has another browser installed. Most will not install Chrome if they already have a working browser.

Search is a different matter, "googling" is basically a verb meaning "to search on the internet" so more people would install Google search when it was missing. Not sure how many though, if Microsoft paid HTC (for example) to install Bing as an app called "Search" people might just click that and not notice/care it wasn't Google. If the app was called "Bing" they probably wouldn't know what it was, and would be more likely to install Google's search. Yes, I really do think Microsoft's Bing branding is that bad...

Of course, this is all academic if Google charges more for the search-free version of Android than Microsoft would be willing to pay to install Bing.

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DougS
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Re: MS next... again

Whether they can do that at all would depend on what they consider a "market". Are desktop PCs/laptops a market unto themselves, or are they lumped in with tablets and smartphones as part of a larger market.

Hint: how much time does the average person spend accessing the internet, apps, games etc. on a smartphone versus on a laptop/desktop PC in 2018?

I think the market has taken care of Microsoft's dominance. For instance, even if they only allowed Edge as a browser on Windows - you couldn't even install Chrome/Firefox - they couldn't use that to influence web standards because there are more Android & iOS devices in active use on the internet than there are Windows PCs.

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DougS
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Which would be interesting, as we'd have some idea of how much value Google assigns to that slurping over the lifetime of a device.

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DougS
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Re: Or the fourth option...

First Apple would have to achieve a dominant share in some sort of market. Having a dominant share in "browser engines for the iPhone" or similar is not something regulators can do anything about.

The reason they are taking this action against Google is because they have dominant positions in several markets - search, advertising, and mobile OS and leverage them against each other to reinforce their market positions. Apple has a mobile market share somewhere in the teens, a mobile app store market share of similar size, an even smaller market share for browsers, and 0% market share for search and for advertising. They don't have a dominant share in anything.

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The new Huawei is going upmarket, but the old Huawei still threatens

DougS
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Re: Not possible

I have a giant Zalman heatsink with a variable speed fan set at its lowest speed (I think it is something like 600 rpm) which along with a 120mm case fan in my mini-ITX at a similar minimum speed and fanless power supply does fine to keep my 65W Skylake basically silent. Oh, I can hear it if I get within a foot, but close enough. In the very rare cases when I might need it to spin up a few cores to crunch something the fans would get a bit louder, so I have headroom that a fanless set up does not.

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DougS
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Not possible

All the graphene can do is spread the heat around more evenly, it can't make it go away. That's what a fan is for.

Besides, while the coloration in their slide was adjusted to show large differences, we are only talking 4C in difference from the hottest to coolest areas (assuming green is 37-38C, yellow is 39-40C and red is 41-42C) so it isn't making that much difference. Do you think you'd really notice if one part of your phone was 4C hotter than another? If you did, would you care?

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UK.gov to press ahead with online smut checks (but expects £10m in legals in year 1)

DougS
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How is this supposed to work?

Are they going to install a Great Firewall to block all non-complying foreign sites? Are they going to try to sue them? That might work against the ones that charge, since they'd be collecting revenue in the UK that could be attached by the government. But who the hell pays for porn? Certainly not those under 18 who'd have to use their parents' credit card!

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Huawei's Watch GT snubs Google for homegrown OS

DougS
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Re: 2-week battery life

Seems to me it would be easier to remember to charge something nightly than to remember to charge it every 10 to 14 days. You'd get in the habit of taking it off and charging it each night. Most people are already doing that with their phone, so it is just another thing to hook up before you go to bed.

You'd lose the ability for sleep monitoring though, if you care about that sort of thing.

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Penta-gone! Personal records of 30,000 US Dept of Defense workers swiped by miscreants

DougS
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That's a problem too, but department heads going to/from industry is mainly a problem of bad policy that doesn't align with what voters want, versus government contractors being problem of increasing government spending. If you want to reduce government payroll, by definition that means cutting services (politically unpopular and almost never happens) or paying someone else to do what the government used to. Paying government contractors to do what the government used to or could do almost always ends up costing more, because of the cut of profit they slice off the top.

A guy I went to MBA school with does this, he's got a team of contractors working on DoD projects and he collects $10-$20 per hour off each one. Makes over a million dollars a year basically doing fuck all at this point. Nice work if you can get it, but a perfect illustration of why we spend so much money and get so little in return.

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Web browsers sharpen knives for TLS 1.0, 1.1, tell protocols to dig their own graves for 2019

DougS
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This would be easy to fix

By default, browsers should skip warnings about "insecure" TLS/SSL (or requiring https at all) for anything which resolves to a private network 10/8 or 192.168/16 address.

Old devices that can't be updated will be around for years, people shouldn't have to keep around an outdated browser just to access them.

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