* Posts by DougS

11987 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Amazon triples profit to $11.2bn, pays ZERO DOLLARS in corp tax – instead we pay it $129m

DougS Silver badge

Because Trump lied when he called it "tax reform"

It was nothing of the sort, it was just tax cuts. So the corporate rate went from 35% to 21%, so the deductions and credits they get (some of which ought to have been modified or eliminated when they cut rates by so much) are enough to wipe out their tax bill completely.

How's this for sci-fi: Orbiting probes face fiery death dive from planet's radiation belts. And that planet is Earth

DougS Silver badge

Re: CV requirements at NASA

It is a lot easier to overbuild devices that are designed as a one off (or two off in this case) than to do so for something you intend to make by the thousands, let alone by the millions. Your budget tends to be become a lot tighter so overengineering and redundancy gets cut.

Roses are red, Facebook will pay, to make Uncle Sam go away: Zuck, FTC in $bn settlement rumor

DougS Silver badge

Re: Bars!

The FTC almost always fines on a consent degree basis, so Facebook would have to commit to no longer doing the bad stuff in the future and may have one or more government employees at their HQ to keep an eye on them.

The biggest risk isn't that the fine is one and done, it is that every time you get a new administration, there's a chance for a different outlook. Just like Obama era regulatory actions against coal companies were disappeared under Trump, similar things could happen if a democrat takes office in 2021 and installs more Facebook friendly FTC appointees.

Roses are red, so is ketchup, 'naked' Huawei tells its critics to belt up

DougS Silver badge

Re: Looking at the source code is nice and all

Huawei's code isn't open source, where did you get the idea that there will be "a lot of active developers" looking at each commit? They are making it available to a particular organization in the UK (and presumably other countries) but aren't going to be seeing every commit. They'll get one version, and then they'll get the next version, with potentially thousands of commits in between. Good luck seeing something they have deliberately hidden amongst huge haystacks of real code changes (and that's assuming the first version they deliver doesn't already include all the backdoors, carefully disguised as "oops, that's a bug")

The odds of finding it may be slightly better than with Cisco, but the odds of the government being able to control whether Huawei plants something are 100%, while the odds of the US government being able to do with same with Cisco are less. Maybe you think they are high, or low, but they are nowhere near 100%.

DougS Silver badge

Looking at the source code is nice and all

I mean you can rule out the existence of functions called allow_spying_by_chinese_secret_police() but given that serious remote exploits can lurk in open source code for years in some cases, how the heck is providing the source code any guarantee? It would be easy to slip in some "bugs" modeled after bugs that have been seen in the wild, giving them plausible deniality in the unlikely event one were found - having several means there will always be a few undiscovered ones waiting for the government order to be received.

Amazon throws toys out of pram, ditches plans for New York HQ2 after big trouble in Big Apple

DougS Silver badge

Great

Now they will start that beauty contest (and bidding war) all over again. This is why we need a law making tax breaks to bring businesses to your city or state illegal. Its a race to the bottom that big business exploits all too well - and only big business need apply. A small business owner that might generate 50 jobs won't get a penny of tax break, even if at $45,000 per job he should theoretically be eligible for over $2 million if they treated him the same way they treat Amazon!

Bad news for WannaCry slayer Marcus Hutchins: Judge rules being young, hungover, and in a strange land doesn't obviate evidence

DougS Silver badge

Re: "while talking to an unnamed associate over a recorded prison telephone line"

I have to imagine either there's a sign by the phone that it is recorded, or there's a recording that plays before your call starts. Anyone done time who can confirm if that's the case?

If not, I suppose he can claim he was under the impression his calls were private, but if there is notification there they have him dead to rights by his own admission.

How do you like them Apples? Tim Cook's iPhones sitting in the tree, feeling unloved by the Chinese

DougS Silver badge

Re: Huawei

Yes between the trade war and Huawei bashing in the west (whether deserved or not) Apple has a big hill to climb to sell phones there when patriotic Chinese will want to support their own brands.

If the situation was reversed and say South Korea was picking a trade war with the US initiating tariffs and threatening even larger tariffs, and they were looking to ban sales of iPhones locally, I can imagine that there would be a pretty good sized backlash against Samsung in the US and help sales of phones from US companies like iPhones and Pixels.

Head of Apple's insider trading program charged with… you guessed it... insider trading

DougS Silver badge

Re: WTF? He should *know* this is like shooting fish in a barrell for the SEC

Stupid and so egotistical that one believes they will be able to talk their way out of it if caught are often very similar. We've seen a lot of that among all the people caught up in the Mueller probe, who thought they could claim they had no contact with Russians, then when that failed make up flimsy excuses etc.

Maybe this guy figured since he was in charge of enforcing insider trading restrictions at Apple that he knew the law so well that he could find a way to claim he's innocent. Who knows, I suppose there's a chance he still will - so far he's only accused. But selling all your stock right before an earnings disappointment is announced looks really bad, he better have one hell of a lie!

DougS Silver badge

Re: WTF? He should *know* this is like shooting fish in a barrell for the SEC

If he's classified as an 'insider' by the SEC, he has to execute pre-planned trades during specific periods. If you are so classified, you can't just decide one day to sell all your shares. Even if you had material information that they would beat estimates and the stock would soar and you lost money doing so, it would still be illegal.

DougS Silver badge

Re: WTF? He should *know* this is like shooting fish in a barrell for the SEC

At least the smart people partner with friends who work elsewhere so you tell your friend when to buy or sell Apple and he tells you when to buy or sell Google. That's a lot harder for the SEC to catch. What this guy did is like drunkenly driving your car down the street with a breathalyzer reading of .15 proudly displayed in your back window!

DougS Silver badge

Why would you do this?

The guy had $10 million in stock to sell, and he sold it to avoid a paltry 3.5% loss? Given a choice between being very rich, and risking spending time in jail to be ever so slightly more rich, I would prefer the former!

Nevermind that if he'd held onto that $10 million in stock it would be worth more today even after Apple's recent drop.

Forbidden fruit of smut, gambling iOS apps found flourishing using Apple enterprise certs

DougS Silver badge

Re: I don't think Apple can effectively oversee who qualifies as a "business"

OK granted if getting a DUNS ID is easier/cheaper than I thought - but then it isn't much of a hurdle either and wouldn't prevent someone from doing this.

So we're back to needing a way for end users to report this to Apple so they can revoke the certificates. Because I don't see a way for Apple to try to police it themselves, since they don't have any part in the transaction aside from issuing the enterprise certificate, and iOS allowing end users to install that enterprise certificate.

DougS Silver badge

I don't think Apple can effectively oversee who qualifies as a "business"

If you make the hurdle too high (like having a DUNS ID) you will disqualify the smaller players.

They clearly need to get a handle on this as it is being abused, but there are probably better ways. One might be to include a click through agreement that attests you are an employee when you install the certificate, along with a "report" button you can click if you are induced to install software that tells you you need to click OK as part of the process and lie about your status as an employee.

Even if 99 out of 100 people looking for a porn or gambling app will happily click OK saying they are an employee to get access to the app, all you need are a few people who say "hold on" and click report. Then Apple can follow up with them about how they got the certificate and revoke it. These illegitimate app purveyors would have to carefully screen their customers to insure they are equally as unscrupulous to avoid the risk of someone hitting the 'report' button.

ACLU: Here's how FBI tried to force Facebook to wiretap its chat app. Judge: Oh no you don't

DougS Silver badge

Re: ACLU should appeal all the way up

You assume there really is such a thing as an "originalist". Conservative justices are not picked for that, they are picked for their positions on a few hot button issues.

When cases like this actually go before the Supreme Court, you tend to see a mix of conservative and liberal appointees on each side - you may think of them as conservative appointees as "originalists", but a lot of them are very much "law and order" types who tend to defer heavily to the needs or claimed needs of law enforcement and would support the FBI in this matter.

It is like looking in congress to see who will support 4th and 5th amendment rights when bills that touch on those issues come to a vote, like efforts to shitcan the unconstitutional PATRIOT ACT. You see people like Ron Wyden and Rand Paul on one side, with strange bedfellows like Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell and Grassley on the other side (i.e. not on your and my side) which unfortunately always has enough votes to keep the surveillance state in business.

If you want a vision of the future, imagine not a boot stamping on a face, but keystroke logging on govt contractors' PCs

DougS Silver badge

So many problems with this

There are some types of software that are almost entirely mouse driven, and other people can work almost entirely with the keyboard (using shortcuts etc.) without touching the mouse much. Will they be flagged as "not working" because they are only using one or the other for long stretches of time? What happens if you are on a conference call? People who are working and not paying attention, or worse are unmuted and constantly clicking their keyboard, are the bane of conference call attendees the world over! They are an indication that the attendee list is too long or the call is too long.

Is anyone going actually review the "screen captures", and if they do will they be in a position to determine work isn't being done unless it is really obvious like always showing Facebook or Amazon instead of work related stuff? If they are screwing around on social media or online shopping they will have plenty of mouse/keyboard events, just not ones that are productive for work, so you will need a human to look at the captures. How much will that cost?

I suspect they will use the threat of the software and hope it brings people into line, and only review things if they have reason to believe someone is slacking. But the slackers are creative, I'm sure you can get software that will replay past mouse/keyboard events - just have a few scenarios where you slowly compose an email, then cancel out before sending, or do other work related things that don't have any permanent effect. Just update them regularly, and set them running while you go pick up your kids, get some groceries, or go for a run.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wasn't this handled last time?

It probably helped a lot that it happened in 1999 when Y2K preparations were in full force, so the GPS thing could be handled as part of that overall project (just with an earlier drop dead date)

Happening in the middle of 2019, it is going to slip through the radar in a lot more places. The good news is the next time it happens it can be included as part of the Y2038 projects :)

Mini computer flingers go after a slice of the high street retail Pi

DougS Silver badge

This is sort of a 21st century Radio Shack

The kind of people who are enthusiastic about Pi are exactly Radio Shack's target demo in their 70s heydey. Instead of trying to find parts to fix your TV yourself, you are trying to find parts to build your own "smart home".

Not heard owt bad about Huawei, says EU Commish infosec bod

DougS Silver badge

The US spies on allies, but is it stealing their technology to give to US companies?

It is well known that China does this - they often even copy the bugs and other shortcomings the copying is so complete!

The US government spies because they think they deserve to know what everyone else is thinking/doing, including their allies. No one can credibly argue the US doesn't spy on its allies after the leaks of the past decade demonstrated. They even spy on US companies/citizens (as Snowden exposed) but this is a one way street. The information they collect on what foreign companies are developing is not getting fed back to US companies for corporate advantage the way it does in China.

What the US doesn't do is sponsor state paid hackers to break into Huawei and Xiaomi servers to steal their plans and technologies to feed them to US companies like Apple, but Chinese state sponsored hackers would very much would like to break into Apple's servers to learn about their future plans and technologies, and if they did they would give that information to Chinese companies like Huawei and Xiaomi.

DougS Silver badge

THIS

There's a non-zero probability of some type of conflict between the US and/or some EU members vs China within the lifetime of Huawei telecom equipment. All they need is a way to activate a capability or force a firmware update - easy for anything that operates wirelessly like 5G base station equipment!

It doesn't have to be a direct conflict, in fact it almost certainly would not be, but rather some type of proxy war like Afghanistan (when the Russians invaded and we supported Bin Laden's resistance)

Does Cisco/Qualcomm gear have holes the NSA knows about or even put there? Almost certainly, but even in the Trump era the chances of a conflict between the US and any EU members during the lifetime of Cisco equipment is pretty small. Could the US use it to spy on them? Sure, but if you accept that you are going to be spied upon and have someone with a big red button they can press to cause havoc in your country would you rather that someone be an ally or an enemy?

High-speed broadband fiber in America: You want the good news or bad news first?

DougS Silver badge

Re: How can this "micro trenching" possibly work?

Yeah I see bigger cities tend to do a lot of work overnight. Probably have to pay the workers more for that, though if I did road construction I'd prefer that at least in the summer as it is cooler at night and would leave your days free (well the part of the day you weren't sleeping, at least)

DougS Silver badge

Re: How can this "micro trenching" possibly work?

Ever walked on polished concrete that has a slight bit of water on it - as if you spritzed it with a sprayer? With lots of water it is fine, but with just the right amount of "some, but not much" it is like very much like walking on ice. I'd hate to ride my bike on that and have it start drizzling...

DougS Silver badge

Re: How can this "micro trenching" possibly work?

Around here I love it when i see them resurfacing a road with asphalt instead of redoing the concrete. If they redo the concrete it will be closed all year, and sometimes take longer than that. Asphalt may need to be done more often, but it is very quick - if they aren't messing around taking advantage of the closure for other maintenance it they can do a mile long section in a week, easy.

From what I can tell they will do a road in concrete, then they'll redo it with asphalt several times, but I guess at some point the concrete underneath gets in bad enough shape that they have to rip everything out and start the whole process all over again.

I love riding my bike on newly done asphalt - it is so smooth. Concrete never is as smooth due to the expansion joints, and the texture they 'comb' into it. Of course 10 years down the road, the asphalt is a minefield of patchwork that has me praying for it to get resurfaced ASAP, while 10 year old concrete is still in pretty good shape...

DougS Silver badge

How can this "micro trenching" possibly work?

Whether they put it 2" deep like they tried and failed in Louisville, or 6" deep like they say works great elsewhere, this seems like a huge problem. Because they've got to patch the road where they tore it up, freeze/thaw cycles are going to create the edge of a pothole there. Potholes can easily grow to 6" deep...

Even ignoring that, what happens when they need to do some minor work on the road, like tearing up a small section to fix whatever utility they need access to. If the fiber goes through it, does Google come out and reroute the fiber around the work area? Or is your neighborhood just down for a couple days until the work is finished?

There's a reason the only utilities routed under the street are WAY under the street, and wires are either run through a duct deep under the street, or in the median. If I saw a company doing that around here there's no way I'd sign up with them. Maybe in a place where it almost never snows like Austin it would be OK, but in most of the US freeze/thaw cycles are a real thing and these microtrenches are a problem waiting to happen.

But hey, Google doesn't care. They will probably end Google Fiber before long, just like they unceremoniously drop 2/3 of the products they start.

Google's stunning plan to avoid apps slurping Gmail inboxes: Charge devs for security audits

DougS Silver badge

What about IMAP?

Some of those APIs mentioned are also presented by IMAP, so couldn't those apps with nefarious intent simply use IMAP to access the messages and do whatever evil things they want? I guess if or should I say when that happens, Google will wash their hands of it, claiming that since IMAP is a published standard they aren't responsible.

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

DougS Silver badge

Re: There were ways around it

Given how expensive it would be for them to redo their systems, he could have held out for getting double its value as a payout, which would pay the taxes and then some. Everybody wins :)

Though assuming they no longer sell those whole life policies or don't sell them to minors they could have just assumed anyone under 10 was 100 + age...

DougS Silver badge

There were ways around it

If two digits were stored for the year, and it didn't have any years earlier than "65" for instance, you could add a bit of logic to do "if year < 65 then fullyear = 2000 + year". Before someone says "what about birthdates" anything that was written in the dusty deck era would have had to assume the possibility of people being born prior to 1900 so would have have had other issues with a two digit year.

Of course Y2K provided a great excuse to rip out the old equipment, if someone had fixed it then you'd never get upper management to agree to replace it. I often wonder how much of the economic boom in the late 90s was due to Y2K spending - and how much the recession that had already begun prior to 9/11 was due to "all our equipment is brand new, we don't need to replace anything".

Lovely website you got there. Would be a shame if we, er, someone were to sink it: Google warns EU link tax will magnify media monetary misery

DougS Silver badge

Re: You'd need to switch to compare

Can't help there, it doesn't do that for me. Maybe Google is detecting the DDG bypass in your case and trying to make it a pain to use so you go direct (allowing them to collect your data!)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Ah, capitalism at its best

I'm sure that was just a "bug" that Google innocently introduced. I'm sure it would just be a coincidence if that also happened to be the last Android update for a few hundred million phones...

DougS Silver badge

You'd need to switch to compare

Just add '!g' to your DDG search and it will search via Google. If I can't find what I'm looking for using DDG and think maybe Google has the answer I'll do that. Very rarely does Google get better results, a search that returns crap on DDG returns crap on Google. Maybe not the same crap, but the same (lack of) quality.

There are other '!' codes like !a for Amazon, !e for eBay, !w Wikipedia so if you know what you are really looking for you can skip the extra step. Google won't let you do that because they would lose on the advertising dollars, gotta grab all the money they can!

OK, Google. Music in 2019 isn't what it was, but Play nice, will ya?

DougS Silver badge

All I know

Is that I would have saved SO MUCH money during my teenage / college / post-college years when I bought tons of music, first on cassette tape and later on CD if I could have paid $10/month for all the music I wanted!

If I could have got that deal back then but price was that there would randomly be a few days a month when I couldn't listen to it due to DRM issues, I would have still taken the deal.

National Enquirer's big Pecker tried to shaft me – but I wouldn't give him an inch, says Jeff Bezos after dick pic leak threat

DougS Silver badge

Why would you want to reward his slimy behavior? And give him a nest egg to start hire away all the people from the company you bought and start over (working behind the scenes with a frontman if you get him to agree to a non-compete) so that the only thing you'd get out of the deal was the name and a bunch of office furniture. He'd take the vault of secrets with him, of course.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I have some questions

There are strong indications it was Bezos' girlfriend's brother. Apparently he's very pro-Trump with personal connections to some of the really shady people in Trump's orbit like Roger Stone and Rick Gates. So at best he was acting on his own going after Bezos thinking he was helping Trump. Of course it could be a lot worse than that, Trump's feelings about Bezos and the WaPo are well known and he's been friends with Pecker for years...

DougS Silver badge

"Often" correct?

Bullshit, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. They aren't journalists, they are grifters, hackers and other criminal types who may occasionally run across a real story totally by accident.

They illegally obtained Bezos' private photos, which he or his girlfriend owns the copyright to, so he should sue them for $150,000 per picture times all the issues they sold containing those pictures. If we are going to have shitty copyright law it might as well be used for good and exterminate the cockroach of the grocery store checkout line! That's probably an easier way to bankrupt them than going after them for blackmail.

The best part is that the immunity deal Mueller made for Pecker's testimony requires that the National Enquirer has to abstain from the types of illegal conduct they admitted to in the deal as of the date on that deal. Since this blackmail attempt is after that the date of that agreement, now the feds can go after Pecker and the National Enquirer for all the things they admitted to. Oops!

US lawmakers furious (again) as mobile networks caught (again) selling your emergency location data to bounty hunters (again)

DougS Silver badge

Re: The free market will fix this

I guess people didn't read the "150 years" part, or have brain damage that leaves them immune to irony.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Lock him up

They keep us fighting over stuff like walls and at what point in pregnancy abortion becomes illegal, so we won't notice democrats and republicans alike taking huge heaping helpings of corporate and dark money donations. They pretend to care by offering token resistance that goes away once they are in power - like republicans claiming to fight for term limits, or democrats against Citizens United.

Anyone with half a brain can figure out that when people are able to spend over $100 million to win a single senate seat, there is well over $100 million of value collectively being extracted from having that person in their position.

Even if you screen out groups and industries that donate overwhelmingly to one party, there are plenty who hedge their bets by donating to both sides - maybe not in the same race since that looks bad, but donating to republicans in red states/districts and democrats in blue states/districts is a cost efficient way to buy the outcomes you want by owning plenty of those in office.

The ones who can't easily be bought like Ron Paul and AOC are demonized not only by the other side but by some in their own party as "crazy" or "too extreme"...when they really mean "won't play ball with big business".

Apple puts bullet through 'Do Not Track', FaceTime snooping bug and iOS vulnerabilities

DougS Silver badge

Safe to say

If a site is able to monetize personal information in any way, or depends on advertising, it likely does not honor DNT.

What a re-leaf: IBM's AI smarts to tell 'leccy companies when their bushes need trimming

DougS Silver badge

Where I live

In rural areas for high power lines they cut a ~50 foot wide corridor through the trees, not specifically because of this problem (the towers are higher than the tops of the trees) but because they need access to drive big equipment in there if maintenance is required. Cutting corridors may be a bit unsightly, and more expensive to maintain (I guess they run a bush mower through there every few years or something?) but it would seem to be a better strategy for places like California where a single fire can cost billions.

UK transport's 'ludicrous' robocar code may 'put lives at risk'

DougS Silver badge

Re: Missing the obvious

There's a difference between just running a red light without slowing, slowing down until you can see it is clear as if it was a yield sign, and stopping and then going through the red light as if it was a stop sign. I'm not advocating any of that (personally I always stop at red lights and wait for the green unless it has a sensor that my bike can't trigger, but I will blow through 4 way stops when I see no traffic coming)

Again though, I wonder why the anger toward cyclists? Are you jealous that they can run red lights and aren't getting nabbed by the cops? Were you hit or nearly hit by one as a pedestrian? Because you face absolutely zero risk of injury from a bicycle when you are in a car, so I don't see why you should care unless one is running a red light into the path of your car and forcing an emergency stop - and if so you should probably go easy on the poor soul as he won't have long to live doing something that stupid!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Missing the obvious

So I gather that in the UK a lot of cyclists go through red lights. I assume that's after making sure there aren't any cars coming? Otherwise such cyclists would be an endangered species. While that's annoying and they shouldn't do that, how does that affect you as the driver of an automobile other than annoying you because you wish you could treat a red light as a stop sign like you see them do?

Cyclists have some pretty obvious disadvantages on the road since if they are in an accident that would be a minor fender bender to a car that will end up in the ER, and if they are in an accident that would result in injury to someone in a car they will be dead. So they have a lot more stake in road safety than automobile drivers do.

At least Sony offered a t-shirt, says macOS flaw finder: Bug bounties now for Macs if you want this 0-day, Apple

DougS Silver badge

Re: Well if Apple won't pay ...

Given that there are over an order of magnitude more Windows boxes in use, the Windows flaw has a lot more potential targets for the bad guys. Couple that with the fact that Windows has an even larger installed base advantage in the corporate world (where such a flaw would be more easily monetized by the bad guys) and you'd think that if macOS was $50K the equivalent for Windows would be $1 million...

DougS Silver badge

Re: In a way it is blackmail

I guess I assumed that he was going to release the exploit, but if all he's going to do is not tell Apple then why should they care? The only difference it makes is that it gives blackhats a place to look for a bug, but it also gives Apple a place to look for it...the race is on!

DougS Silver badge

In a way it is blackmail

Maybe he's being truthful when he says he's doing it to point out a shortcoming in Apple's bug bounty program, maybe not, we don't know. But let's say they pay him. What stops the next guy from saying he's holding back telling them because he thinks they aren't paying enough, and wants a guarantee he will get a certain amount of money? What if he wants more than their highest payout, because he thinks that's inadequate for the bug he found?

At what point does it go from 'changing corporate behavior you think falls short of an ideal' and become blackmail?

Treaty of Roam: No-deal Brexit mobile bill shock

DougS Silver badge
Trollface

As a yank

I had no idea how important Brexit was to the maintenance of potholes. So if I want all the potholes caused by our snowy winter to be fixed, should I tell my congressman to petition for entry into the EU, or tell the EU that the US still isn't interested in joining?

Chrome devs attempt to slip muzzle on resource-guzzling browser beast with 'Never-Slow Mode'

DougS Silver badge
Thumb Up

Better solution

Firefox.

As a bonus Google won't collect data on every web site you visit, what you click on, how long you visit etc.

Who are the last people you'd expect to spill thousands of student records? A computer science dept? What a fantastic guess

DougS Silver badge

Re: Confidential?

In my day your test scores and grades were on a bulletin board outside the professor's office, but your name wasn't attached to it. Instead they used your student ID - which back then was your SSN!

Would have been pretty easy to steal the SSNs of people in class by:

1) if one person is known to be way smarter or way dumber than everyone else, look for the highest/lowest score

2) just hang around the bulletin board and watch people - about half of them will run their finger down the list of SSNs until they reach theirs and trace across. If you know their name, now you know their SSN.

If only scam artists knew how valuable someone's SSNs would be some day, they could have compiled lists of them back in their college days. As a bonus you'd know that everyone on your list is a college graduate, or more.

Hands up who reuses the same password everywhere, even with your Nest. Keep your hand up if you like being spied on by hackers

DougS Silver badge

Re: Nest could, of course, do more

I'm sure Google engineers are busy adding that "functionality" as we speak.

Apple hands keys for retail to HR boss amid flagging iPhone sales

DougS Silver badge

All this discussion

Assumes that this move will be permanent. Being in charge of retail is a big promotion from being in charge of HR, and it doesn't make sense for one person to do both jobs. I'll bet they announce a new head of HR by April. Everyone is reading the announcement seeing it doesn't say that she is a temporary fill-in running retail, but ignoring that she might now be exactly that in her old job.

Apple solemnly agrees to pay France $570m in back taxes, turns to camera, gives us a wink

DougS Silver badge

Re: "But a loophole is a loophole"

Apple isn't losing anything over the "standard quite low 12.5% rate", assuming that the EU is only trying to claw back the difference between what Apple would have paid under that rate and what they paid under their special deal with Ireland.

The EU still has a serious problem with all the different tax rates, and the ability to for companies to move money and profits around as they like. Obviously the flow will go to whoever has the lowest rate, even if special deals are disallowed. This works in the US because the US as a whole has taxes, and then individual states are allowed (most do, but not all) to tax income themselves. Even a few cities (NYC for one) does.

If the EU had its own taxes, and then allowed countries to have supplementary taxes things would work better in the long run. But they'd never get the members to agree to that now, unless/until things get to the point where it looks like the EU may fall apart.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple will laugh all the way to the couch...

Well that's in dispute because Apple got a lower than "official" tax rate from Ireland via a special deal, and the EU claims such special deals have always been illegal. Since it was decided in a court that Apple needed to pay up, it looks like they were right (or at least right enough that EU judges agreed with the EU)

That's not the same thing as an ex post facto law.

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