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* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

3365 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

That toolbar you downloaded is malware? Tough, read the EULA

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Browser toolbars?

I cleaned about 10 various toolbars, and a few more 'download helpers' off my sister-in-law's PC last night. When I turned it on, there were 86 processes running, after I'd run Malwarebytes, there were 60 left.

I can't remember the last time I looked at a friend's PC for them and didn't find some toolbar they knew nothing about and never used. Even though most of the time it's just the Google one. The Google Toolbar and Chrome load themselves onto people's computers just like malware. Although at least Chrome has some use - I've no idea what the Google toolbar is for.

Apple stopped bunging Safari out this way, so I guess there's still hope for Google.

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Amazon floats 'Prime Air' drone delivery plan

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Terminator

Re: Beep! 404! Delivery address not found...

Well that blank-smile-of-death Amazon logo on the front reminds me of many robots I've seen which are about to turn rogue and start slaughtering their fleshy overlords. So you could well be right.

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Re: When I "floated" this as a use of technology...

I'd imagine they'd go down the route of equipping their drones with missiles. Then just blast the front door out of the way, and carelessly toss the package in the vague direction of the still smouldering wreckage.

At which point you'd be incentivised to tick the 'please deliver next-door' box...

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China's Jade Rabbit takes great hop for mankind

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Re: They've sent a Jade Rabbit to the moon?

No. But apparently Mrs Spoon is a right goer!

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REVEALED: How YOU PAY extra for iPHONES - even if you DON'T HAVE ONE

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Re: Easy to not pay!

I think El Reg's point about that was that every customer of the operators will be paying extra on their contracts - in order for them to claw back some of the cash they're handing over to Apple. So by using a mobile, your price is being affected by Apple because they're driving the costs of all the operators up. Whether that's true or not, who knows.

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'Schrödinger's Comet' ISON LIVES (or DOESN'T) after Thanksgiving solar roast

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I know how to save the Earth

All this money being poured into finding Near Earth Objects, so we know if any are on a collision course can be drastically cut. All we need to do is spot them with at least a month or two to go before they hit.

Then just tell the press that it's going to be the comet of the century, with big light shows in the sky...* Once it's been announced that something will be naked eye visible it is impossible that this can ever happen - the laws of journo-astronomy forbid it. Thus it's impossible for anything to hit the Earth.

* Well OK, tell them to expect pretty lights, and the journalists will write 'comet of the century' headlines whatever you do.

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Sceptic-bait E-Cat COLD FUSION generator goes on sale for $US1.5m

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Re: It's a pyramid scheme

Now if it was a proper pyramid scheme, then they souldn't shove all the cats in a boring old shipping container, but construct a nice blue glowing pyramid to hold them all. That would look far more snazzy and modern. I'd buy one for $1.5m any day!

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Re: I'm quite interested in these kind of hoaxes

I came across an engineer about 10 years ago, through work - the company had dealt with him for 15-20 years.. He's a mechanical engineer, so obviously not chemistry or physics trained, but capable of reasonably complex calculations and you'd exepect to have at least some kind of scientific leanings.

Anyway he was chucking it all in, and taking early retirement. But would we fancy one last meeting before he did? Oh and I'm retiring in order to sell magnetic healing bracelets and magnetic gubbins that you put in your petrol tank, which improve fuel efficiency by 10%.

Huh? What?

Although I suppose the water industry that I work in does have some fun with magnets. We have magnetic and electro-magnetic water conditioners. Some of which have been tested and appear to work, although no-one has a convincing theory as to why... And some of which are just some wire wrapped round a piece of pipe (or that you wrap round it yourself) and are sold to consumers at £200 a pop.

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Re: Re. device

Nah! I know the secret and it's not that. He just reverses the polarity of the neutron flux, and job's-a-good'un.

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Swollen Reg reader recounts FALSE WIDOW spider HORROR

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Re: "Doubtless cynical readers will claim this discovery is purely coincidental"

The Portuguese Man o' War is a much more likely candidate.

Hey man! That was some really vicious punch at the party last night. My head is killing me...

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Assange flick The Fifth Estate branded 'WORST FILM OF THE YEAR'

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Re: Misleading title

What about the Diana one? Is it worse than that? I haven't seen either.

Oh but I did see a trailer for Ben Stiller's latest last night. Mitty. A special ten minute mega-trailer inviting me to a preview screening. Where he talked for almost five minutes, telling me how pleased he was with it. And almost bored me as much as the next 5, with the alleged best bits from it. Maybe I'm being unfair, as I've not seen it, but I think I'd rather watch Assange for 2 hours.

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Apple dodges data privacy sueball: Fanbois didn't RTFM*, says judge

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Trollface

Re: Wait, Koh again?

Oh dear. Did I need to use a joke alert icon on that post? Or have I upset the Wikipedia or Android fans?

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Re: I must be doing my bugs wrong

Whilst Gopplesoft is nice, and I congratulate you for it, I think I prefer Micrapogle. Because it's ovbious that they like to ogle my crap all the time...

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Re: Wait, Koh again?

I can prove she worked for Apple, I saw it online. Here's the link to my source.

By the power of Wikipedia. I have the power...

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Bitcoin value breaks $1,000 barrier in FRENZIED HYPEGASM

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Re: why?

btrower,

I found your post came over rather on the arrogant side for my tastes. Ironically given the way you chose to say it, I also think it showed quite a serious lack of understanding of the issues involved too.

All fiat currency is destined to be worthless. Originally $20 USD bought an ounce of gold. It now buys about 0.016 oz. Long term, that number is not going up. At less than 2% of its original value, the USD is already essentially worthless relative to its original value.

I think you might want to re-assess your choice of comparison there. Not that I'm arguing their hasn't been inflation, but the measure of inflation used is a basket of goods that people buy, not an extremely volatile asset class such as gold, for a good reason. So the dollar is worth less, but not as catastrophically as you say - partly because you've measured at a time when gold is just off the top of a rather big bubble.

You example of Zimbabwe is even sillier. They collapsed the economy. Inflation was both cause and symptom. Had Zimbabwe been using Bitcoins, so that Zanu-PF weren't able to print them, the economy would probably still have collapsed becuase they'd have simply seized the assets they were buying with printed money instead. A massively corrupt and disfunctional government was the problem there. Bitcoin won't save you from a goverment that could always torture you for the password to your wallet, and if you don't hand it over they can just shoot you, so no-one gets it.

A well-run economy can deal with some inflation, if it's predictable. At low levels, it even has some good side-effects. It makes hoarding cash cost, thus incentivising people to invest it. At varying degrees of risk. That means others can borrow it. If you can't borrow, you will struggle to build capital goods, without that investment your economy will stagnate. But with deflation, borrowing is madness, becuase the amount you have to pay back is more than the amount you borrowed, even before you've accounted for interest. Extreme Example Time:

In January I borrowed 1,000 bitcoins for a year to buy a 3d printer. Planning to sell 1,000 3d printed gubbins at 2 BTC each for Christmas and pay back the loan with 10% interest. Plus yummy profit for me.

Now Bitcoins aren't worth the same $100-odd of January, they're up to $1,000. So Bitcoins are worth 10 times as much as before. My printer can now be bought for BTC100, and I can only sell my gubbins at 0.2 BTC each. Thus even if I sell the full thousand, I end the year with assets of 120 Bitcoin, and a debt of 1,000 Bitcoin. Oops! Bankruptcy ahoy!

This is obviously ridiculous, but only because no-one seriously uses Bitcoin for everything - and it represents a tiny economy. It shows the problem of the debt denominator effect in deflation though. Debt becomes a crushing millstone, if asset values fall in money terms. Now I've heard some people say this is a good thing, because debt is bad. But debt isn't bad. It's just a thing. It can be either good, bad or indifferent. It can allow growth, investment, social mobility and improvemtent. If handled sensibly, obviously. It's logical for me to buy my flat. I've got to spend £800 a month to live in it anyway, so I may as well borrow the cash to buy it and make sure that money goes to me (plus profits to the bank of course). This is a perfectly prudent use of debt, even though I now owe the bank loadsamoney. If I was borrowing because I couldn't afford to pay for my dinner (or holiday), that would be a different matter.

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Re: why?

Danny 5,

Because our currencies are backed by something. Partly it's just inertia. 60-odd million other people are using the Pound too, and there's safety in the herd. If they all suddenly don't trust it, then you can get problems. But the problems in the Euro show just how powerful that inertia is. Even though it's almost a certainty that Italy, for example, will have to leave the Euro or partially default (debt at 135% of GDP and rising, an ageing and falling population, and an average economic growth rate of under 1% for the last 15 years) - still no-one believes it will happen and so the markets are stable and nobody's panicking.

But those currenvcies go with the states, and are backed by them. So that's 63 million people, the UK government, one of the world's top 5 economies and a few nukes that say that the Pound will probably still be worth something tomorrow. All of whom have to pay their taxes in it (apart from the nukes), so will almost certainly accept it for transactions.

What's backing Bitcoin? Maybe a few thousand (tens of thousands) of people, most to of them dabbling in it for fun, and a very large chunk of them waiting for it to go up in value some more because it's so exciting. So they might be willing to sell them to you for the right price, but how many are confident enough to take them from you in exchange for real things of value to them? How many businesses near you will sell you stuff for Bitcoin? How many people are brave enough to take their salary in it? It's a chicken and egg situation.

Also there's compulsion. No-one will ever force you to use Bitcoin. David Cameron can send scary men round to take my house away if I refuse to give him a certain amount of sterling each year. Or lock me up, or both. He can also tell shops that they have to accept sterling from me, in exchange for goods. If there's a crisis of confidence, the government can do various things to try to help. No-one is in charge of Bitcoin. This means you can't be compelled, but it also means you can't be bailed out. Both options are available to governments.

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Re: Oompa Loompa Dollars!

Erika G,

How many people are buying them though?

Say that 20 Mt Gox are only processing 1,000 transactions per day from currencies to BTC. That might theoretically mean that my stock of 1,000 Bitcoin would now be worth 1 million. But if I tried to sell them all at once - that would double the daily transactions from Mt Gox. It's rather unlikely that the price would remain the same if I chose to sell. That would probably collapse it for a few days.

Valuing illiquid assets is always harder than liquid ones. Just because liquid ones trade more frequently so it's both easier to find someone to buy them, and the market is more stable becuase people are less likey to be in a desperate hurry to either buy or sell - and so willing to pay/take silly prices.

I spent £10,000 on an only slightly nicer flat last year because of this. One was in a popular estate with relatively steady prices and regular sales. The other in a small development mostly owned by corporate property investors. None had been sold since building in 2005 - so there was no possible way to know the reasonable price - and if one company decided to sell 4 at once just as you needed to sell yours, you'd have to take a big loss or give up on moving.

This is the risk you take with Bitcoin. If you were to take your salary in it, and rely on it for all your needs then at the moment you'd be a very happy bunny. Something (possibly that malware that ransoms people's data?) has caused a spike in value. So you're quids in. But if there's a halving in value, as happened overnight a couple of months ago, you've still got to eat, pay your rent/mortgage and bills each month. So you're going to have to make your exchange at crap rates, or starve.

As someone who worked in Europe during the conversion to the Euro, but was paid in sterling, I can tell you about this. My salary dropped by 18% over about 3 months, as the Euro appreciated against the Pound. I was expecting it, but it still didn't stop me from feeling sad - and put a severe dent in my beer and restaurant funds.

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Re: will nobody think of the skimmers...?

You do realise that Bitcoins are also a cartel, by the very design of the system. You get given Bitcoins for 'mining', which is the computation of building the blockchain that holds all the Bitcoin transactions.

I'm not quite sure how it's supposed to work after all the coins are mined though, as surely there's no further incentive for processing all the transactions? Plus the number of people doing it will presumably continue to get smaller, as the computational difficulty increases.

Anyway, there will always be someone skimming off the top. Do you think that the enormous credit card infrastructure should be free? Because it can't be. If government does it, we'll get taxed. If it's done privately, then we'll get skimmed. The alternative is to use cash. But that also costs shops (as they have real security risks) and us - as taking £1,000 out in your wallet is a bigger risk than a card with an unknown PIN. And of course minting coins and printing notes isn't free either, that comes out of our tax too.

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NSA spied on 'radicalisers' porn surfing so as to discredit them, reveals Snowden

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And then what will you do when certain members of your leadership are caught not surfing porn?

Trying to argue that, "honest I was surfing porn on my iPad while spending three days researching holiday cottages in Devon", isn't going to cut any ice when The Daily Mail comes a-callin'...

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'MacGyver' geezer makes 'SHOTGUN, GRENADE' from airport shop tat

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Re: He should have used Pringles tubes

Once you pop a cap in their ass you can't stop.

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Re: Aren't we lucky ...

I don't think you can hijack a plane with knives any more. You need to be able to kill lots of people at distance to do that, as if you have to get close to people - they're probably going to fight back.

In the 'good old days' hijackers mostly wanted to get on TV for a bit and then be allowed to negotiate so they could get away. But that all changed after September 11th. So standard procedure is no longer to cooperate. Even the guys on the 4th flight that very day had worked that out, whereas passengers in most hijackings before had kept their heads down and hoped for negotiation.

Admittedly that didn't stop Stansted security from taking my nail clippers away. And spoiling my plan to hijack a plane by threatening the cabin crew with really bad manicures...

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Badges for Commentards

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Re: opposable thumbs @Hungry Sean

Evil Auditor,

You get your silver badger automatically, once you hit 2,000 upvotes on Evil Auditor posts. Not anon, or previous username ones.

I agree on the downvotes, I try to reserve them for trolls, idiots who don't read the damned articles, and humourless grumpy-guts. Mostly this seems to be a majority upvote site. But some people do seem to use them as 'I disagree'. I've also had a recent bunch of downvotes for what I thought were uncontroversial short jokes. So I suspect someone is also using them for 'you aren't funny'.

You always used to get downvoted for saying anything positive about Windows Phone, but now there's a larger number of people on here who use it. And that hasn't happened to me of late. Saying anything even vaguely bad about Google or Android gets downvotes though. The Google fanboys are alive and well, it seems. Snowden and Assange both seem to bring out the voting frenzy on both sides. I find myself doing it too. I see a reasonable post that's been unfairly (in my view) downvoted, and feel the need to give it a sympathy upvote. Tend to do this any time I come across it, so I find myself voting a lot if I bother to read an Assange/Snowden thread. Once I'm hitting the buttons already, I think that also makes me more likely to hit downvote. Although that could just be because so much crap gets written on those threads.

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Re: Sheesh!

Someone else,

Perhaps this comment took you back over the edge? As you have now been re-embadgened.

But I think it's a perfectly logical decision. By being ill, and failing to post inane drivel on El Reg, you were letting them down. Abandoning them! Just because of a minor thing like bits of you being chopped up. What a wuss! Man up! You should have been posting interesting IT-related musings from the operating table, and witty banter from the recovery room...

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Angela Merkel's phone was being listened in on by FIVE foreign powers

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Re: The Norks as well?

Never underestimate a starving hacker.

Shakes,

Rubbish! It's a known fact that computers won't operate, unless in the presence of both pizza and coffee.

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Undercover BBC man exposes Amazon worker drone's daily 11-mile trek

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Re: Could be a lot worse

even mashed potatoes are a "foreign substitute", as potatoes more or less originate in Peru

Mexflyboy,

Are you calling Paddington Bear a foreigner? Shame on you!

Anyway, tatties can't be foreign, because my Mum cooked them for me when I were a lad. And she didn't hold with all that foreign muck. Apart from doing really weak curries with fruit in them of course...

I think that once you've lived in Britain for 500 years, you get to call yourself a local. Even the BNP wouldn't send potatoes 'back to where they belong' now. Whereas I must have been in my 20s before I'd even heard of polenta (I wasn't big on Italian food), so that gets counted as foreign. Just like garlic, olive oil, pepper and in fact all spices except mild curry powder - as my Mum wouldn't have anything to do with them either. Nowadays I love Italian grub, but I still don't get polenta.

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Re: permission

Would you mind putting the word "poem" in the inverted commas that such an effort so clearly deserved?

It's too late for a takedown request now anyway, what is once seen cannot be un-seen. The global artistic disappointment index has been increased by yet another notch. And just as X Factor is on as well...

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Re: Could be a lot worse

countd,

I have to disagree. Polenta is nasty, bland and horrible. Mashed potato (preferably with cream and butter) is the food of the gods, and we'll have none of your foreign substitues thankyouverymuch!

...Thinks... Sausage and cider casserole with mash tonight perhaps?

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Yahoo! staff! slapped! for! 'snubbing! own! webmail! and! preferring! Outlook!'

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I wonder what senior management use?

I've never liked Outlook, and the only component of Office that I ever really got on with was Excel.

However I haven't seen any webmail that even gets close to the usefulness of an email client with offline storage. Add in one that also does calendar, reminders and addresses (even if the address book rreeeeaaaallly sucks), and Outlook wins hands down.

I can speak from recent experience here, as my work PC just died, and while setting up the replacement I had to endure several days of using webmail. Admittedly Outlook Web Access 2003 does make the Gmail UI designers look like geniuses - so at least it achieves one amazing thing...

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Our Sun menaces comet 'of the century' ISON with FIERY DESTRUCTION

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I have scientific proof

All from my "research", i.e. reading The Register.

It's going to be the most spectacular comet ever. Superb, bright, visible in daylight, and full of fascinating scientific information to discover.

But that doesn't matter. Because a volcano in Indonesia has spotted this event too. And is right now awaking from hundreds of years of slumber in order to fill the atmosphere with ash, and block out the pretty lights.

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To the MONEY RING: Musk's SpaceX to attempt boldest mission yet

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I'd imagine it's geostationary transfer orbit. Then the satellite will have a booster to get it the rest of the way to where it's going.

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New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

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Re: Helping with the non-threaded reply setup...

Drew,

To avoid confusion, perhaps you should dump post titles altogether? Many posts don't use them, and people can just as easily use the first line of the post if they want.

Thus saving a bold bit at the top for telling us who the post is a reply to . You'd probably want this a bit less bold, but it adds more info without increasing complication. This would mean you'd have to create a new field for when you start a topic though, as currently the title of the first post is also the topic title.

Personally I still think you should go for full threading. But as I assume that means totally redoing your forum software, this would be a lot less hassle.

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Boffins baffled after Sun fails to fry satellites

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Re: The sun growing up ?

That's just great! Now it's old enough to drink.

After several million pints of cheap cider, I'm awaiting the mass ejection with fear and trepidation. I hope the guys in the ISS can swim...

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Vintage WINE laid down in SIXTEEN HUNDRED BC was 'psychotropic'

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Re: Archaeologists.

Because it was found in a wine cellar under a palace perhaps?

Also, poor people ate oysters because they were plentiful and cheap. Scarcity took them upmarket. Wine, especially if aged, would have always cost - due to labour and storage. This backed up by the wine being to a set recipe, rather than the more individual stuff people would make for themselves.

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Meet Stuxnet's stealthier older sister: Super-bug turned Iran's nuke plants into pressure cookers

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Re: Apart from being what most people would call an "Act of war"...

Richard 22,

Iran doesn't have a working nuclear reactor. Yet. It's been using centrifuges to enrich uranium to the purities required for theirs - which I believe they still haven't fueled, but is close to complete/completed.

The problem is that once they've got that 20% uranium, it's a pretty easy step to then go up to weapons grade, by re-centrifuging (is that a real word?). Also, they were making more than it was thought required for the shiny new reactor, and had built a secret site with more modern centrifuges, that they failed to declare to the IAEA (as they are required to by the NNPT - to which they are a signatory). That's one of the reasons why the IAEA declared that they'd been running a secret program, in breach of their treaty obligations, and is why they're under economic sanctions.

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Re: Apart from being what most people would call an "Act of war"...

I do hope Israel and the US behave as well when, say some of the hardware at Dimona, or the flight software of the F35 gets a little surreptitious "upgrade."

John Smith 19,

There is a difference here. At least in terms of the F35 software example. The authors of Stuxnet went to considerable trouble to not cause accidents, which they could have and might well have been dangerous. Whereas if you play with flight control software, real aeroplanes are going to fall out of the sky, and land on peoples' heads. Not to mention what it does to the pilots. That is a different quality of interference.

At the same time not only were the US pursuing (successfully) UN sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program, but they were also offering (along with others) money and sweetners in order to allow Iran to operate a legitimate civillian nuclear infrastructure without proliferation risk.

So it's not like they were acting totally carelessly, thoughtlessly or immorally. It's a reasonable well calibrated, multi-layered diplomatic initiative that may even bear fruit in the talks that are currently going on. And if so, bear fruit without anyone getting killed*. The alternatives probably being worse. Most likely an Israeli air attack on Iran, or a US one - given that most opinion seems to be Israel could only half do the job on its own, and as the US would take so much heat if it happened, they may as well step in and do the job properly. Or Iran getting the bomb - then Saudi also doing so, or some combination of all of them.

Was the whole thing moral? In my opinion,yes. Foreign policy often isn't very nice. For good reasons. You're often steering between various unpleasant alternatives, and trying to push for the least horrible ones. Bombing Iran, in order to stop them aquiring nukes, can plausibly be described as worse than dealing with the consequences of Iran getting them. Particularly as it would probably take a lot of repeat bombing to keep them from just starting all over again. As Iran provides massive numbers of rockets for Hamas and Hizbollah to lob at Israeli civilians and is currently equipping and training Assad's troops in their continuing campaign to massacre their way to a regime survival, they're hardly in a position to complain about a bit of malware.

*I'm assuming here that the Iranian nuclear scientists who've been assinated is down to Israel and not the US. Although it's perfectly possible that they were involved in that too, but it does look more Mossad's style.

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UK defamation law reforms take effect from start of 2014

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Re: What could possibly go wrong?

I don't believe there's anything in the regulations making this process secret. So El Reg (for example) might choose to not take down the comments, after all they're a publisher so must have access to legal advice on hand, or they might simply choose to publish the takedown requests as news items. That should deal quite nicely with frivolous ones, if they happen.

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Re: What the law says makes no difference

Pete 2,

That's not true. The whole point of this excercise is that now a comment can be stood up, so long as the commentard is willing to stand up and be counted. At which point the cost of defending their comment is moved to them.

Otherwise the website has to delete it or face the consequences, and quite right too. They can't be held responisble if they're willing to delete, which is a fair balance. It means you can safely allow comments, that there's even a safe method to leave the nasty ones up (which in reality will almost never happen) as if the commenter was up for a public fight, they'd have done it in a less roundabout manner.

So what's actually happened is that we've lowered the costs of moderation (risks of moderation failure) for websites, and protected people somewhat from anonymous alegations. After all, El Reg mostly have little more knowledge about their commentards than the victim of any nasty comment - so have no way of proving it's true.

On the other hand, if I've found the evidence of collusion between the Illuminati and say The International Cute Teddybear And Loveliness Corporation plc, and weirdly chosen to publish that in a comment on El Reg - then I can pass my details via El Reg to TICTALC plc and have my day in court.

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UK public auditor, scourge of tax-dodging big biz, hosts its site on ... Amazon

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Re: Lesson in taxation part 1

Bluenose,

I've not got time to read your link and check it out today, but thanks for the reply. I'll have a read of it later.

Obviously my information could therefore be wrong, I'm no expert on Amazon's tax affairs. But Amazon report very low profits to its shareholders. Every year. Now unless it's defrauding them, then those are the overall profits for the group - and they shouldn't be hiding secret profits.

Tax consolidation isn't allowed under UK corporation tax, as you say, so each company in the group has to pay over its moolah separately. However, you can get group relief [no sniggering at the back there!]. So one part of a group making losses, can offset those against the profits of another part. I'm no tax expert, so don't ask me how that applies to subsidiaries of Amazon that don't have a presence in the UK - there are circumstances in which it's allowed, and those when it isn't.

So in principal I still hold to my argument (pending reading your article). Amazon aren't making huge profits, less than a couple of hundred million a year globally - because they're re-investing the profits back into the business. They aren't sitting on the huge, unproductive, cash piles that others are. Google, MS and Apple between them have something like $150 billion stashed in Ireland that they won't spend because then they'd get taxed on it. So even if Amazon are avoiding their fair share of UK corporation tax, it's only likely to be a couple of million they owe us, not the couple of billion that MS, Google and Apple are getting away with.

Finally, companies are taking the piss, in an increasingly aggressive manner, but in a (probably) legal way. So it's down to governments to get together and sort this out - which it looks like they're doing. Although it does look to me like some of them may have cheated so much that it's become fraud, by booking revenues to Ireland and the Netherlands where they don't have any operation at all. It would be nice to see a few of them get caught doing this, and lose a few cases on transfer price cheating as well.

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It's a bit unfair to lump Amazon in with all the corporate tax evaders. Since they barely make a profit. They seem to invest all their profits back into expanding the company, and you only pay corporation tax on what's left. Which is barely anything for the shareholders, in their case.

So whereas MS, Google, Apple etc., all have their HQ in Ireland, make huge profits and then have them sitting in a big hoard o'cash in Dublin because they can't get it out without the US taxman getting his sticky mitts on it - Amazon take their cash pile down to Servers R Us, and invest it into all things cloudy. Once Bezos decides to stop growing the company, and raking in the profits, then you can start thinking about calling them tax evaders. Assuming that they don't decide to pay big hunks of corporation tax at that point. Until then, you can't.

I suspect you probably already know this, which is why you gave their corporation tax against UK turnover, which is totally irrelevant, and ignored profits. A bit of a sneaky journalistic trick, if I may say so, abusing statistics and comparing apples with oranges. If you want to calculate total global Amazon profits, then compare UK turnover to global, and make a rough calculation for any profit-sucking investment that might apply only in the UK, then you can make an assessment of whether their tiny UK corp tax payment is unfairly low. Which it still may be, as they do make some profits.

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Norks EXECUTE 80 for watching DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

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Coat

Re: "Oh Sting, where is thy death?"

I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord...

Dum-dum! Dum-dum! Dum-dum! Dum-dum! Dum-dum!

Mr Kim uses hollow point...

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Happy

Hmmm

with a sports stadium in Wonsan hosting a crowd of 10,000 as a firing squad dispatched eight of the victims

This gives me an idea for U2's next concert... Is that wrong?

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Mushroom

Re: I wouldn't put it past North Korea

NO!! we should happily sneak X-Factor et al vids in at every opportunity

Oi cornz 1,

Stop it! It's people like you that are the reason North Korea developed nuclear weapons! Thinking about it, I've now changed my mind, and think they were totally justified in doing so. Now how long do we have to wait before their missile technology is sufficiently advanced to reach the global X Factor recording sites?

I thought that was what my government had build Trident for. But as they don't seem to want to protect me, it looks like I'm left relying on Kim the chubby nutter.

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Another day, another Bitcoin burglary as Bitcash.cz goes titsup

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Devil

Re: OH noes, the hackers again

Tom 38,

That was my first thought as well. You didn't also spend too much time playing EVE Online did you?

No-one who's played that is ever going to get involved in Bitcoin.

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Google goes looking for more GLASSHOLES

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Boffin

I'm interested in what Glass can do. Despite the cynicism displayed on here. Perhaps it ought to be forced to make a noise while photographing/recording, in the way that I believe Japanese mobile phones have to.

If I could read the screen of course... Which Google say is the equivalent of a 25" HD telly at 8 feet. Sadly I can't read text on that size screen from that distance - so I guess it won't help me. Because it would be great to be able to go somewhere with a GPS that outputs turn-by-turn directions to a pair of glasses. Also when in the train station it would be nice to point a camera at the information displays so helpfully placed 20' in the air, so they're impossible to read. At the moment I carry a monocular for this purpose, but at airports/stations it can be a bit of a juggling job with bag, case, coat, passport, tickets, coffee, sausage roll, monocular... However I suspect I'll be swapping peering at a 100" screen from 20 feet away to peering at a 1/2" screen from 2 inches away, that's equivalent to a 25" screen 8 feet away - and they'll all end up being equally useless.

Oh well, I guess it's not aimed at me anyway. A quick look at Google's promo for Glass suggest that it's aimed at ice-skating, sky-diving hipsters who're obsessed with social networking and videoing everything they do, while looking at weather forecasts the rest of the time.

Oddly when I'm outside, I consider it too late to look at the weather forecast. Looking at the sky will do at that point, it was before I came out into the rain that I needed to have remembered my umbrella. Which is another thing taking up a hand that could usefully be holding a monocular... This tech will probably make it's way to low-vision aids by about the time I'm ready for the nursing home. At least I might get some nice nursey-porn out of it to help pay the bills.

There's no speccy icon (either with rainbow or glasses...), so I'll have to settle for the lab goggles one. I guess I'll stick to my bag with magnifying glass, reading glasses, TV watching glasses, polarised and photo-chromic sunglasses, monocular and jewellers screwdrivers to fix the one of them that will inevitably break.

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Brit boffin brews INSTANT HANGOVER RELIEF

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Re: Hangover cure

(avoid allowing someone without a measure to make cocktails, that is a recipe for disaster as I found out one evening)

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NONONONONONO!!!!!!!!!

The stronger the cocktail, the better the cocktail. Assuming it's still in proportion and tasting yummy. The trick is to train yourself to taste the strength, then ration appropriately.

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Happy

Well, sales of kebabs should only be effected if people are forced to take the antidote before leaving the pub. That would be disastrous for the trade, as nobody eats them sober.

However bacon sandwiches will be totally unaffected, BECAUSE THEY ARE ALREADY TOTALLY DELICIOUS!!!!!!!! Even vegetarians know this, and it's why they fear their weakness.

Perhaps Professor Nutt ought to be concentrating on a chemical which gives all the pleasure of bacon-y yumminess - without the unfortunate side-effects of addiction and heart trouble. If his chemical could also replicate the nice cuppa that goes with the sandwich, then all the better.

Then I'd wake up every morning, reach for my bedside table glass of water and bacon-sarnie-and-cuppa pill, and be set up for the day.

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Google makes Gmail EVEN NOISIER, or should that be nosier?

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Re: While marketing is important to Google,

Well I don't think they should totally get rid of the marketing people. They actually seem to have an idea of how to create a noticeable button. Whereas the new GMail UI designers seem to have been brought up in the Egyptian hieroglyphics school - where if you translate this then the Gods will bring a curse down upon you...

So what we need to do is send the techies into the marketing department. Where their natural grumpiness and cynicism will destroy marketing from within. And get the marketroids sent to developing, where they'll be unable to make any further changes to the product, but we might get some shinier buttons. Win - win methinks...

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Norks unlikely to beat the USA in the death-ray race

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Re: That diagram

My cars often had rocket motors. So I guess I was doing both. I'm afraid they often had guns as well. Shall we say I came from the Wacky Races school of car design. Dick Dastardly branch...

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Re: Sacre, Fear, Money Dare!

Well, let's see...

Iraq did have chemical weapons. Those nice people at the UN found loads of them in the 90s, and when they left the country because Saddam was making it so hard to operate, they still had a list of stuff where they'd found the paper trail, but not destroyed the naughty stuff yet.

in between then and the invasion, they were either destroyed or possibly sent off somewhere. Almost all that the Dossier with the 45 minute claim said was based on those UN reports. Admittedly it didn't have enough of the caveats, like how badly Iraq had done at building decent chemical warheads - although I seem to remember it did say how bad they'd been at weaponising their biological weapons. The 45 minute claim was about hitting Cyprus (or Israel, anywhere else in the Middle East), and never mentioned London. Admittedly they should have put in the caveats about that intel, that it was estimated with reasonable probability - or whatever the exact wording was.

Check the IAEA and UN reports. Iran has broken a bunch of the rules of the NPT - that it signed up to. Israel hasn't signed, and North Korea un-signed... Iran has admitted (after they were found out) to building a secret underground base to centrifuge the 'fuel' for their nuclear reactor to a higher purity than is required for nuclear fuel. And has the ability to do so on an industrial scale. Whether they actually want to build a nuke, or whether they want to have the assurance of being close, is a matter for debate. But the fact that their nuclear program is aimed as much at weapons as at power, really isn't.

Take the old tinfoil hat off there, it'll keep your brain cooler.

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BT Sport scores own goal with £897m Champions League footie rights deal

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Re: I don't subscribe to BT Vision,

I've got bad news for you. ITV now have 90 minutes more to fill every Wednesday.

I predict either: Midweek X Factor, or movie length Coronation Street.

It's unlikely to be an improvement on the footie. I just hope that BT do their attacking of Sky by messing up football. And leave the cricket alone! Although if they force Sky Sports to be cheaper (fat chance!) then I'd be happy. There was some idiot on the Today Program this morning, saying this BT thing would be good for consumers. Tee hee! As if it doesn't just mean that footie fans will end up having to pay 2 subscriptions, rather than just one.

Roll on sensible sports governing bodies. The NFL will let you buy TV rights for a whole season online for £160. That's all games, and access to all sorts of other stuff, and an archive of all the games since they started doing internet broadcasting (about 6 years). Or for half that you can just have access to all the games for the team you support.

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